Real Estate FTSE 350 Progress towards gender balance

News / 17.05.2021

The Hampton-Alexander Review reported on its final review in February 2021. It showed the progress in the improving gender balance on listed company boards and in the Combined Executive Committee & Direct Reports during the last five years.

Across all the FTSE 350 companies, the target of 33% women on boards was met with a voluntary, business-led approach and supported by a data-driven actions and modernising of business culture for the benefit of women and men.

Despite the welcome progress, there was recognition that there is more work to:

  • Too few women CEOs, FDs and Chairs, given the progress elsewhere
  • Whilst women in Leadership roles has increased, it is stuck at 30%
  • Appointment rate of women still lags men, with 60% of all roles still going to men
  • Gender balanced teams are increasing, but not always the norm
  • Harder work still to do addressing behaviours & creating inclusive cultures

Progress in the Real Estate Sector
We undertook an analysis of the information in this and prior H-A Review reports to gain some insight into our sector’s progress.

Information reported is grouped under ‘Real Estate’ (27 companies) and Home Construction/Construction’ (11 companies). Here are some highlights:

Women on Boards – this includes executive and non-executive positions.

  • The 35% sector average is ahead of the 33% target
  • 75% (20 out of 27 RE companies ) and 55% (6 from 11 HC/C companies) of the sector companies were at or above target
  • In the 2017 H-A Review, a total of 9 sector companies were at/above target compared to 31 in the 2020 Review
  • The vast majority of the board positions are as Non-Exec Directors, with only 3% being Women Executive Directors (compared to 14% Women Exec. Directors for FTSE 100/250 as a whole)
  • The average board size is 8 directors, with between 2 to 3 as female; it would appear that the ‘one & done’ issue is in the past now, but there are still ‘tokenism’ appointments per the Review.
  • Out of 210 board seats in 27 RE companies, only 7 were women executive directors. Similarly, 3 women executive directors from 93 board seats in HC/C sector. In the 2017 Review, the RE sector had 3 women executive directors

Combined Executive Committee & Direct Reports

  • The RE sector average is 34%, so slightly above the FTSE 100/250 average, with the HB/C lagging behind with a 25% average. Half the companies were at or above target and the rest below.
  • In 2017 H-A Review, only 4 RE companies were on target compared to 15 in 2020 at above 30%.

All Male Executive Committees – whilst the ‘all male board’ is now gone, there are still 5 RE companies in this category.

The journey continues with emerging best practice for broad based diversity and inclusion for the real estate sector with a multi-stakeholder, data driven, transparent and accountable approach.