Current state of gender diversity

Gender diversity in UK business – all sectors (FTSE) and energy


The Davies report (2015) 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 and 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, as the third and successor phase to the Hampton-Alexander and Davies Reviews.


Its second and most recent report (published on 28 February 2023), revealed that the 2025 target for 40% women on FTSE 350 boards has been met three years early. Female representation on FTSE350 boards (as at 2022) stands at 40.1%, up from 39.1% in 2021.   There is also good progress towards the same target for women in leadership roles (executive committee and their direct reports), which now stands at 34.3% for the FTSE100 (up from 32.5%) and 33% for the FTSE250 (up from 30.7%). The number of all-male executive committees is down to 10 from 54 in 2017 but there are only marginal gains when it comes to the top job of CEO – only 8% of CEO roles in the FTSE350 are occupied by women.


Progress in the FTSE  is encouraging (and ahead of the energy sector).  But, as the report says, there is much to do in certain key roles, like CEO, Board Chair and Financial Director etc.


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 analysis at POWERful Women, supported by PwC UK, shows that, as at Q1 2023, women still occupy only 29% of all (executive and non-executive) board seats (up from 27% in 2022) and 16% of executive board positions (up from 15% in 2022).


74% of companies have no female executive directors on their board and 21% of companies have no women on their board at all.   Women occupy 32% of middle management roles and 31% of leadership roles in UK energy companies in 2023.


Find our full 2023 Annual State of the Nation Statistics  here  including the press release.