Newsflash – The Hampton-Alexander Review final report

February 2021

The final report of the five-year Hampton-Alexander Review was published on 24 February 2021. The Hampton-Alexander Review is the successor of the five-year Davies Review on women on boards, meaning this is the culmination of ten years of additional focus on gender diversity at board and senior leadership level from Government, companies and investors.

Key findings include:

  • On average, the FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and FTSE 350 have all reached the target of women holding 33% of board positions by the end of 2020 and this target has been achieved by 220 of the 350 companies involved, rising from just 53 companies in 2015
  • 34.3% of FTSE 350 board positions are held by women and the number of women on boards has increased by 50% over the past five years
  • There are no longer any all-male boards in the FTSE 350
  • However, gender diversity in leadership can still improve as women still only hold 14% of executive directorships in the FTSE 100 and less than 30% of senior leadership positions

A successor review has not yet been established and so Sir Philip Hampton outlines four recommendations in his introduction, two for companies and two for Government:

  • Companies should have a woman in at least one of the four roles of Chair, CEO, SID and CFO, and investors should support this best practice
  • Companies should publish a gender pay gap for their board and their executive committee, to “shine a light on the pronounced structural subordination of women in most boards and executive committees”
  • BEIS and the Government Equalities Office(GEO) should co-ordinate as much as possible the initiatives Government backs on diversity in business
  • BEIS and GEO should annually review with the Investor Association and other investor groups any proposed voting sanctions applied to listed companies which fail to meet the gender diversity targets they have set

The final report of the Hampton-Alexander Review can be found here.

Gender pay gap reporting
On 23 February 2021, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced that due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies that are required to file gender pay gap reporting – those with 250 or more relevant employees – will have an additional six months to submit their data. The gender pay gap data will still need to be submitted, however companies now have until 5 October 2021 before legal action begins in respect of the 2020/21 reporting year.

The EHRC’s announcement can be found here.

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