Only three out of ten seats on the council are held by women in the UK, lagging behind countries such as France and Italy.
According to a global report by Deloitte, the proportion of board seats is well above the UK level of 30.1% in France (43.2%), Norway (42.4%) and Italy (36.6%).
While the UK has improved its global position for gender diversity from 13th to 9th since the report was last published in 2019, it has fallen behind six European countries, plus New Zealand and South Africa.
Jackie Henry, Managing Partner of Deloitte UK, said: “While the number of board seats held by those known as women in the UK is moving in the right direction, we are still far from our European neighbors who have leaders in France alone 6.8% below par. between the sexes.
“UK businesses need to be more proactive in taking diversity goals seriously through better disclosure and more transparent reporting.”
In 2010, the FTSE 100 boards were made up of only 12% women, but now that number has increased to 36.2%.
However, there are only 15 women on the boards of directors of the FTSE 100 and eight CEOs, just one more than in 2019.
The report also found that the average tenure of women on boards in the UK has fallen from 4.1 years to 3.6 years since the last report was released in 2019.
The paper, published with the 30pc Club campaign group, said slow progress is being made towards greater gender equality.
Globally, women held only one in five seats (19.7%) on boards of directors, an increase of 2.8% from 2019.
The report identified what it called the “expansion factor,” in which a small group of women occupy a large number of board seats.
Ann Kearns, global president of the 30pc Club, said: “This is indicative of the fact that women have more difficulty getting nominated if they do not have previous board experience.
The president and CEOs should be encouraged to give women first place on the board. There is a lot of talent that would make great directors.”
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