The Worst Excuses Given by FTSE Companies for Lack of Women in Boardrooms

By May 31, 2018For Talent

It may be 2018 but that doesn’t mean that gender bias and discrimination doesn’t exist in the workplace.

From the pay gap to sexual harassment at work, there are a lot of problems affecting working women today. One of the most pressing concerns is lack of representation.

In fact, a survey released earlier this year found that there are more men called Dave and Steve than any woman by any name heading up FTSE 100 companies.

That’s…well, pretty depressing actually.

Thankfully companies are beginning to be held accountable.

The Hampton-Alexander Review is calling for one-third of all FTSE leadership positions to be held by women by 2020.

Interestingly, the review found that the number of all-male FTSE 350 boards fell from 152 in 2011 to just 10 in 2017. Clearly, we’re on the right track but there is still a lot of work to be done.

If you’re in any doubt about that fact then you may want to read the 10 most nauseating excuses chairmen and CEOs gave to explain the lack of women in senior positions within their company while they were compiling the report.

*Warning* some of the excuses may cause exasperation, disbelief and perhaps rage.

  1. ‘I don’t think women fit comfortably into the board environment’
  2. ‘There aren’t that many women with the right credentials and depth of experience to sit on the board – the issues covered are extremely complex’
  3. ‘Most women don’t want the hassle or pressure of sitting on a board’
  4. ‘Shareholders just aren’t interested in the make-up of the board, so why should we be?’
  5. ‘My other board colleagues wouldn’t want to appoint a woman on our board’
  6. ‘All the ‘good’ women have already been snapped up’
  7. ‘We have one woman already on the board, so we are done – it is someone else’s turn’
  8. ‘There aren’t any vacancies at the moment – if there were I would think about appointing a woman’
  9. ‘We need to build the pipeline from the bottom – there just aren’t enough senior women in this sector’
  10. ‘I can’t just appoint a woman because I want to’

Excuse us while we shake our heads in disbelief.

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said such appalling explanations as those released today proved companies have more work to do.

”It’s shocking that some businesses think these pitiful and patronising excuses are acceptable reasons to keep women from the top jobs. Our most successful companies are those that champion diversity.

”Thankfully, there has been great progress in recent years and through our modern Industrial Strategy and the Hampton-Alexander Review we are determined that everyone has an equal opportunity to reach the top.”

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Author Alice Murray

Alice Murray is a Content Creator at Jobbio with a passion for Employer Branding and Graduate Culture. She's a keen traveller and a self-proclaimed lazy runner.

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