One in five of UK’s top FTSE 350 firms warned over gender diversity

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One in five of the top 350 UK companies have been warned about the lack of gender diversity at senior levels.

A government-backed review has written to 63 firms asking them how they plan to improve gender balance.

The Hampton-Alexander Review wants a third of board-level and leadership positions at the UK’s top firms to be filled by women by the end of the year.

Figures show many are nowhere near the target – although the 100 top companies have passed one of the benchmarks.

The review was set up in 2016 by the former chair of RBS Sir Philip Hampton and the late CBI president Dame Helen Alexander.

It monitors the progress of women in leadership across FTSE 350 firms – the companies that make up the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 stock market indexes.

Earlier this month, figures showed many companies had made good progress towards the review’s target with women now holding one in three board positions at FTSE 100 firms.

But the review has singled out 24 FTSE 250 companies which only have one woman on their board and 35 FTSE 350 firms which have all-male executive committees.

Another four FTSE 250 companies failed to meet both targets – they had an all-male executive committee and only one woman on the board.

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