More CEOs named Andrew and Simon than women in FTSE 100

Not a single woman CEO of colour in the blue-chip index, according to Equality Group

There are still only nine women in chief executive roles in the top 100 UK blue chips, according to Equality Group’s FTSE 100 CEO Diversity Data Report.

Meanwhile, there are more CEOs named Andrew and Simon than women female chief executives in the FTSE 100.

Equality Group used Honordex to evaluate the index’s inhabitants on diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI).

The report also found that FTSE 100 firms led by women outperform those run by men across diversity, equality and inclusion metrics.

See also: Women board members increase after diversity push

Glaxosmithkline, led by Emma Walmsley, was the highest-scoring company with an Honordex score of 69, meaning it demonstrated a commitment to DEI and scored well, but there is still room for improvement.

Vodafone, who recently appointed Margherita Della Valle as chief executive, also scored highly alongside Aviva and Admiral Group.

Hephzi Pemberton (pictured), founder and CEO of Equality Group said, although the diversity of the CEO pool has improved slightly since the firm started its analysis five years ago with an increase of 29% across women and 40% across ethnic minorities, the group remains overwhelmingly male and white.

Meanwhile, no woman of colour has ever held a chief executive role in the FTSE 100.

She added: “Numerous studies have consistently demonstrated the positive impact of diversity on business performance. McKinsey research found that companies that have greater gender diversity in their top leadership teams are more profitable. Meanwhile, companies with an equal representation of men and women on their boards achieved superior stock returns, according to Morningstar.”

Female and ethnic minority representation among corporate leadership has risen by a third since 2021. However, Pemberton said there is a clear lack of opportunities for women and people of colour in top positions within corporate leadership.

In 2021, a study released by EY showed that nearly all FTSE 100 companies have met the Parker Review’s target to improve ethnic diversity, which involves having at least one ethnic minority person on a company’s board.

However, Pemberton said: “As expected, most of these persons occupy non-executive positions, as the most common executive ones are CEO and CFO. This confirms the findings from this study, showing that executive positions are still not being held by people with ethnic minority backgrounds.”

Of the nine companies led by a woman, Equality Group found the average gender pay gap is 11.2% and 22.3% for the bonus pay gap, roughly half of the average pay gap at a FTSE 100 firm.

This article first appeared on ESG Clarity’s sister title Portfolio Adviser.