Women in the Boardroom: Where are we?

With the deadline for businesses and charities to close the gender pay gap looming. Where are businesses up to?



Since the arrival of recent legislative efforts, as well as other initiatives, female representation in the boardroom has become a topic which has dominated international headlines. No matter if the news is critical or optimistic, broadsheets are quick to comment on any stories that arise.

This week, two businesses to have faced criticism were big four Equity partner KPMG and Wall Street firm, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

KPMG has come under scrutiny for failing to close its gender pay gap over the past 12 months. The other three firms that round out the Big Four, EY, PwC, and Deloitte all had much lower total earning gaps and have succeeded in continually closing those gaps year-on-year.

KMPG bosses revealed its gender pay gap had stemmed from the fact it had more men than women in senior roles, with women accounting for less than a fifth of its 635 partners. KMPG is also alleged to have problems promoting and retaining women. In an article from The Financial Times, the organisation was cited by an anonymous former director as being like an ‘Old Boys Club.’

Facing similar accusations was the US founded Goldman Sachs Group. Despite making a conscious effort to promote women entrepreneurs around the world and to hire more female professionals, its board has just two women on its 11-member board of directors. As more and more US companies push to increase the presence of women, the ratio of women to men on the Goldman and Sachs board has remained the same since 2004.

In a different view, two well-known British firms have welcomed their first female representative to their board. Defence giant, Babcock revealed it is planning to appoint Rolls-Royce non-executive director and former executive of oil giant Shell, Ruth Cairnie as its next chair. If the appointment is to be confirmed, it would make Ruth Cairnie Babcock’s first ever female chair.

Chester Business Club has also announced that they have appointed former regional director of law firm Excello Law, Julie Morgan, to its board as President. Julie Morgan joins Vice Chair Julie Swinnerton as another recent appointment to Chester Business Club’s board which puts women well and truly in the driver’s seat at the prestigious and influential organisation.

Are you a female business leader seeking your first boardroom role? Whether you need further support and training to help you to be at your best or want to explore open opportunities across the UK, joining InTouchNetworks.com can help you in achieving your goals. Click here to learn more.

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