10 worst excuses for excluding women from boards

'It's shocking that some businesses think these pitiful and patronising excuses are acceptable reasons to keep women from the top jobs'

10 worst excuses for excluding women from boards

Diversity in the workplace is essential, as gender equality should now be part and parcel of HR’s strategic plan.

However, a recent report from Hampton-Alexander Review released by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), backed by the UK government, revealed the top 10 most shocking reasons given for not appointing women to FTSE company boards.

The release marks the halfway point of the Hampton-Alexander Review, which aims to increase the number of women in senior positions in FTSE 350 companies. However, the report also uncovered some serious diversity breaches.

“It’s shocking that some businesses think these pitiful and patronizing excuses are acceptable reasons to keep women from the top jobs,” said Andrew Griffiths, business minister.

“Our most successful companies are those that champion diversity.”

The top ten excuses given for not promoting female professionals were:

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’

Chair of the Hampton-Alexander Review, Dir Philip Hampton, added: “Around a third of FTSE 350 companies still have very few women either on their boards or in senior leadership roles. We used to hear these excuses regularly a few years ago, thankfully much less so now.

“However, leaders expressing warm words of support but actually doing very little to appoint women into top jobs – or quietly blocking progress – are really not much better.”




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