A group of Conservative parliamentarians have today announced the launch of a project to study the barriers women in the workplace face in reaching executive positions.
The group will study the effectiveness of quotas and alternative options, but particularly issues which risk being overlooked, such as the low numbers of women in executive positions and leaks in the pipeline of talent.
One of the co-founders of the project, Dr Therese Coffey MP, said: “Progress has been made on female board participation recently, but we feel there is much more that can be done: only 6.6% of executive directors of FTSE 100 companies are female, and if you go beyond the biggest companies to the FTSE 250, over a third of boards remain all-male. We want to speak to companies, their investors, executive search firms, and other members of the business world to understand how we can unlock the talent pool that the women in this country represent.”
Mary Macleod MP, co-founder, said: “While the European Commission are suggesting quotas for boards, we feel there are underlying problems which need to be tackled. We welcome the fact that 55% of non-executive directors appointed since February were women, but 100% of executive appointments were male. Women are struggling to reach the very top, and we want to see how they can be helped.”
The group plan to write to stakeholders, inviting them to give evidence at a number of sessions in the New Year. A report will be published in the spring.