Women Are Now Majority of Top U.K. Firms’ Independent Directors
(Bloomberg) -- Women make up the majority of non-executive directors for the U.K.’s biggest listed firms for the first time.
More than 50% of independent directors at the top 150 U.K. public companies were women in April, compared with just 18% a decade ago, according to recruitment firm Spencer Stuart Inc. Women occupy over a third of board seats overall -- in line with U.K. government targets -- though 50 companies missed that benchmark.
U.K. public companies are being pushed improve on gender diversity. Larger firms are 10 times more profitable on average if they have one-third female executive boards than if the boards are all male, diversity consultancy The Pipeline said in a study last year.
Performance on ethnic diversity was markedly worse, with 39% of firms having no minority directors at all. People of color held about 11% of board seats.
The data shows that the gender improvement is still not being reflected at the top level, with women accounting for just 8% of chief executive officers and 9% of chairpersons.
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