Women still struggle to get top FTSE 100 jobs - report

Angela Ahrendts Burberry is singled out for praise for having three female executives, including boss Angela Ahrendts

The number of female executives in top jobs at the UK's leading 100 firms is almost unchanged for a third year running, a report says.

Cranfield School of Management found 135 female directors out of 1,076 people on FTSE 100 boards, or 12.5%.

The figure was 12.2% in 2009 and 12% in 2008, suggesting that the situation is stagnating, the report argues.

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said that the figures were "worrying".

Cranfield's 2010 Female FTSE report said that this year's incremental increase is due to three additional women on FTSE 100 boards.

The company in top place this year is retailer Burberry with three out of eight female board members, or 37.5%.

In Burberry both the chief executive and the chief financial officer are women, and there is also a female non-executive director.

'Political correctness'

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said: "While I'm pleased to see the number of female-free boardrooms continuing to fall, it's worrying that women - who make up more than 50% of the population - still account for just one-eighth of FTSE 100 directors.

"Making boards more diverse is not about political correctness - it's about making sure companies draw senior staff from the widest possible pool of talent, which is good for business, good for staff and good for customers."

The research also looked at FTSE 250 companies, where 52.4% (131) of companies have no women on their boards. Just 7.8% of FTSE 250 board directors are women.

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