35% of board seats in UK’s largest manufacturing firms held by women

Our research reveals that gender diversity is improving amongst FTSE 100 manufacturing companies with 35% of all board seats held by women. Despite this advancement, there is still a way to go before gender parity is achieved in the sector.

Although 35% representation is an improvement, the ratio of women to men holding C-Suite positions on Boards of Directors remains a concern. Of the 30 companies surveyed, just over two-fifths (42%) of non-executive board directors are women, however only one in six of the executive board positions - including CEO and CFO positions - are occupied by a woman. Only two of the thirty companies had female Chairs, equivalent to less than 7%, and just one company had a female CEO.

Despite lack of representation in more senior positions, representation in manufacturing is in line with the FTSE 350 average of 34.3%. The Hampton-Alexander Review published last week showed marked improvement in female representation with the number of women on FTSE boards up 50 per cent in five years. Its therefore clear that industry is moving in the right direction.

Graham Carberry, Managing Director at Arrowpoint Advisory, commented: Although headway is being made with gender parity on boards, it is obvious that more still needs to be done. This is especially true when it comes to female representation in the top roles in UK manufacturing – there is less than a handful of women in the roles of CEO or CFO.”

“It’s therefore vital that UK manufacturers continue to think about how they can create and sustain the best female talent in their business, and that women are given the opportunity to develop to their full potential. In doing so, the business itself benefit and so too will wider society.”

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