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Board composition  |  Equality, diversity and inclusion

The NEDonBoard take-aways from the 2018 Hampton-Alexander Review


The 2018 Hampton-Alexander Review was published in November. In 2016, the Review established clear targets aiming at increasing the number of women in leadership positions across FTSE 350 companies: 33% representation of women on FTSE 350 boards and FTSE 350 executive committee and the direct reports to executive committee by 2020. The report published on 13th November is the third report tracking progress against the targets.

In this blog post, we outline some of the major data points of the report and draw some key points for our readers to reflect on.


The facts

There has been some good progress towards the targets:

  • The number of women on FTSE 100 boards has exceeded 30% for the first time at 30.2% up from 27.7%. Next, Rightmove, Taylor Wimpey and Hargreaves Lansdown plc all have 50% women on their boards. 38 companies of the FTSE 100 have achieved the 33% target.
  • The number of women on FTSE 250 boards has increased to 24.9% in 2018, up from 22.8%. 65 companies of the FTSE 250 have achieved the 33% target.
  • The number of women on FTSE 350 boards has increased to 26.7% in 2018, up from 24.5%. 103 companies of the FTSE 350 have achieved the 33% target.

There remain important areas of disappointment:

  • The number of FTSE 250 Chair roles remains flat at 22.
  • The number of women in CEO roles decreased to 12 from 15 last year.
  • There are 75 companies in the FTSE 350 that only have one woman on their board. The report calls those boards “One & Done”; NEDonBoard could not agree more.
  • There are still 5 boards that are exclusively made of male members in the FTSE 250: Daejan Holdings, Millenium & Copthorne Holdings, Amigo Holdings, Herald Investment Trust, JP Morgan Japanese Investment Trust.

While the FTSE 100 appears on track to meet the 33% target, considerable progress must happen at FTSE 250 companies: the appointment rate needs to be 50/50 in the next two years!


The NEDonBoard take-aways

  1. Diversity is a crucial consideration in succession planning and both nomination committees and boards should set themselves objectives to achieve diversity.
  2. When it comes to listed companies, investors have a key role to play in forcing diversity considerations to be looked after. We need investors to vote against resolutions that do not sufficiently incorporate balanced gender representation at board and senior management levels.
  3. Gender balance is an important aspect of diversity, but it is only one element of diversity. Boards and nomination committees should be reminded that the ability to incorporate diversity of thinking into decision-making is what makes board effective. 


If you are not already a member of NEDonBoard, join us today and unlock your potential as an effective NED on Board.


Elise Perraud, on behalf of NEDonBoard



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