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Monday, 22 February 2021

Lack of women in leadership roles impacts UK economy

A recent report by Women Count 2020 has shown that the UK economy is potentially suffering to the tune of £47bn in pre-tax profits due to the lack of women in highly placed executive roles. Findings in the report showed that companies with women in leadership roles had significantly higher profit margins and better performance than companies with no women on their executive teams.

The positive correlation between women and improved business performance should be strong motivation for companies to begin bridging the gender disparity gap and solving the huge diversity issue in many UK companies. Top leaders in the UK are urging companies to take action. The severity of the underrepresentation issue was laid bare when the report found that there were only thirteen women at companies on the Financial Times Stock Exchange 350 at CEO level. Now, former UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called for change, pointing out that there is no good reason for the disparity to exist.

It seems the country is moving in the right direction, with female executives on the rise between the 2019 and 2020 financial year but the gap is still wide, especially in traditionally male dominated industries such as Finance where male chief financial officer’s outnumber women by five men to every one woman in the role. In some industries, such as construction the number of women in leadership roles is actually dropping.

Now more than ever, it’s key to the health of the UK’s economy that companies push to see more women in leadership roles. The country has suffered a huge blow to the economy in the past year and will see a faster recovery if companies prioritise diversity in the workplace and begin to work on remedying the gender disparity on executive committees.

Courtney Rowe
Courtney Rowe
Courtney Rowe is business correspondent covering UK and international business stories. Previously, she was health correspondent, delivering exclusive stories on gender pay inequality, NHS finances, the death in care of patients with learning disabilities and autism, and preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

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