Number of Start-up Female Board Members is “Depressingly Low” at 8%

Large FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies witnessing impressive growth in female directors

According to research commissioned by B2B service marketplace Approve Index, start-up female board members have been gradually declining since 2010, with the average figure dropping to a “depressingly low” 8.37% this year.

Whilst start-up companies appear to be failing to improve gender diversity at senior levels, the opposite is the case for larger corporations with FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 firms experiencing impressive growth in female directors (22.8% and 15.6% respectively).

The research was conducted with the boards of Fast Track 100 companies from 2010 to 2014, and revealed the gap between start-ups and FTSE 100 companies has quadrupled in the last four years.

In regards to regions, start-ups in the North West and East have the highest levels of female board members (16.85% and 14.29%), whereas London-based new firms are one of the worst with only 6.72%.

Although new businesses are failing to become gender diverse, the findings found that start-ups are more open to installing younger board members with a new average age of 48.

Approved Index’s Trilby Rajna commented on the findings:

“Our findings expose some really shocking trends of male superiority in the senior appointments of new businesses. It seems that despite start-up firms being heralded as the pioneers for innovation and technological advances, the inherent culture is far from progressive.

“Emerging entrepreneurs do not have the excuse of a history of bad cultural practices to latch on to. They should know better.”

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