Current state of gender diversity

Gender diversity in UK business – all sectors (FTSE)


In 2014 the Davies report recommended that UK FTSE 350 boards have at least 33% women on their boards by 2020. The Hampton-Alexander Review (2016) added the same 33% target for senior leadership roles (executive committee members and their direct reports – ie one and two levels down from the board) and also looked at the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250.


The final Hampton-Alexander Review report published in February 2021 showed that for women on boards both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 had met the 33% target at the beginning of 2020.  In February 2022, the FTSE Women Leaders Review was published for the first time, succeeding the Hampton-Alexander and Davies Reviews.


Its most recent report (published in February 2024), revealed that the representation of women on FTSE 350 Boards has increased beyond the 40% target, with almost two years to go until the end of 2025. Female representation on FTSE350 boards (as at 2023) stood at 42.1%, up from 40.1% in 2022.  The number of women in leadership (executive committee and their direct reports) has increased to 35.2% for the FTSE100 (up from 34.3%) and 33.9% for the FTSE250 (up from 32.8%).  The number of all-male Executive Committees in the FTSE 350 reduced to just nine (10 last year, 54 in 2017) but the number of women in CEO roles has remained flat at 21 out of 350, and there are still too few women in other key roles of Chair and Finance Director.


Progress in the FTSE  is encouraging (and ahead of the energy sector).  But, as the report says, there is still much to do.


Energy sector (global):

Globally, female representation in the energy industry and its sub-sectors is monitored by a number of organisations and reports:


The International Energy Agency (IEA) tracks gender in the global energy sector as a whole. Despite making up 39% of the global labour force women only account for 16% of the traditional energy sector. On average, “there are 76% fewer women than men working in the energy sector, a significant difference from the average 8% gap seen in the total workforce, according to 2018 data from 29 countries (22 IEA members)”.  Find out more here.


OIL & GAS: ‘Untapped Reserves 3.0’ by Boston Consulting Group and WPC Energy is the latest edition of research that has tracked the number of women working in oil and gas for the past seven years. The 2023 report shows that women make up 23% of the global oil and gas workforce, up very slightly from 22% in 2021. Find out more here.


RENEWABLES: ‘Renewable Energy: A Gender Perspective’ by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) showed that in 2019 32% of the renewable energy workforce were women. A later study focussing on just wind energy, found that women make up just 21% of that sector’s workforce. The most recent study in 2022 looked at the solar PV sector and found that the share of women working full time is 40%. Find out more here.


NUCLEAR: ‘Gender Balance in the Nuclear Sector’ by the Nuclear Energy Agency reported in 2023 that women make up only 24.9% of the nuclear sector workforce in NEA countries. Find out more here.


UK energy sector only:


Our own most recent analysis at POWERful Women, compiled in collaboration with Bain & Company, shows that, as at Q1 2024, women still occupy only 29% of all (executive and non-executive) board seats (the same as in 2023) and 16% of executive board positions (again, no improvement from last year).


74% of companies have no female executive directors on their board and 20% of companies have no women on their board at all (1% improvement on last year). Women occupy 34% of leadership roles (same definition as the FTSE WL Review) and 32% of middle management roles in UK energy companies in 2024.


Find our full 2024 Annual State of the Nation Statistics here including the report, press release and launch recording.