Following the Hampton-Alexander Review, the Government have now pledged support towards a new five-year review which aims to increase female leadership within FTSE companies.

Noting the importance of “opening up opportunities to everyone”, the Government has announced the new FTSE Women Leaders Review.

This review has been established to monitor and increase women’s leadership at the top companies in the UK, ensuring these organisations are continuing to take actionable steps on improving diversity and inclusion.

Business Minister Paul Scully stated:

UK business has taken great strides when it comes to gender diversity at board level, underlining the success of the government’s voluntary approach.

Companies shouldn’t take their foot off the gas. Evidence shows that more diverse businesses are more successful businesses – the case is too strong to ignore.

This comes as the Government’s previous Hampton-Alexander Review found that the FTSE 350 no longer contained any all-male boardrooms, in February of this year.

In addition, the research also found that the number of female directors within the FTSE 100 had increased by 50 per cent since 2015, rising from 682 to 1026.

This review, the Government stated, was effective in encouraging companies – without the use of quotas – to improve the gender balance on their boards, through fair recruitment on the basis of merit.

However, recent research conducted by Cranfield School of Management, suggests that while progress has been made regarding women sitting on FTSE 100 boards, there are not currently enough female chairs, chief executives and chief financial officers.

It highlighted that just eight of the chief executives of companies in the FTSE 100 were women, which the report said “highlights the drawback to voluntary targets and prompts whether it is time to make these targets mandatory”.

Speaking to The Guardian, Alison Kay, EY’s managing partner for client service in the UK & Ireland, stated:

The progress in executive roles is actually far more of an important metric than the number of women on boards as a whole.

The new FTSE Women Leaders Review is now accepting gender diversity data from FTSE companies.