Women still under-represented in construction boardrooms
Women are still under-represented in senior construction roles, despite a concerted effort in the sector to increase gender diversity in the workforce.
That’s according to a study of FTSE 350 companies by the Women Count report, funded by gender diversity business The Pipeline.
The Pipeline criticised “another wasted year of little or no progress” despite a government target for there to be a third of women in leadership roles in those companies by 2020.
The Women Count report found that in 2019, FTSE 350 construction companies had:
- 13% representation of women on their executive committees
- 5% representation of women in profit and loss (P&L) roles on their executive committees
- 11% representation of women as executive directors on their boards
Image: Women Count report (The Pipeline)
Lorna Fitzsimons, co-founder of the Pipeline, said: “Over the last four years ‘Women Count’ has proven that the FTSE 350 is not a meritocracy. When over 90% of men hold all the major positions from CEO, executive director and P&L roles there is something seriously wrong. The top listed companies are systemically failing to utilise their equally if not more talented female colleagues. We need to redefine the best person for the job and factor in the value of diversity to the executive committee’s performance. Businesses severely limit the talent they attract and retain as well as their bottom line when they exclude women. It’s time for the government and fund managers to force change.”
To try to increase the share of women in key roles in companies, Pipeline has called on:
- The UK government nationally and locally to adopt a target of 33% women on executive committees as a requirement in public procurement for organisations with annual turnovers in excess of £100 million.
- Pension Fund trustees to require their fund managers to have 33% female partners making their investment decisions.
- Fund managers to take the 33% minimum target of women on Executive Committees into account when making investment decisions.
- FTSE 350 companies to have minimum targets of 33% female representation on their executive committee and at least one woman executive director on their main board.
Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK, fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The Pipeline’s Women Count 2019 report confirms everything my own career in business has taught me about people, culture and success. It provides hard evidence that promoting more women isn’t just ‘the right thing to do’ – it produces measurable returns. This is essential reading for all businesses that want to innovate and grow. Siemens continues to strengthen its position as a world-leading business because our people have the richest range of experience from as many viewpoints and backgrounds as possible.”