Which FTSE 100 companies are best for boardroom diversity?

Which FTSE 100 companies have the most diverse boardrooms? Does more diversity in the boardroom translate to better company performance? Let’s find out.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More.

A report by Daily FX has found that there is not enough boardroom diversity among FTSE 100 companies, with male executives dominating their female counterparts.

According to the report, only six FTSE 100 companies have a gender split of over 50% female in their boardrooms. Ethnic representation is also low, with some boardrooms having no Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) members at all.

So, which companies in the FTSE 100 are leading the way in terms of boardroom diversity? Are companies with greater boardroom diversity better for investors?

What is the importance of boardroom diversity?

With the topic of boardroom diversity gaining increasing prominence, a great deal of scholarly research has been done in recent times to highlight the relationship between boardroom and leadership diversity, and the success of a company.

Some of this research shows that there is a significant relationship between diversity and revenue performance in FTSE 100 companies. The study by DailyFX shows that FTSE 100 companies with female CEOs brought in $1.1bn (£0.8bn) more in revenue than male-led companies.

The same study also shows that BAME CEOs performed much better than white CEOs. BAME CEOs brought in an increase in revenue of $4.1bn (£3.1bn), where white CEOs brought in $1.5bn (£1.1bn).

Other studies on boardroom diversity more or less echo these findings.

One study in particular, from Glasgow Caledonian University and DeMontfort University, found that increasing gender diversity in FTSE 100 boardrooms had a ‘positive and significant effect’ on the financial performance of firms./

By analysing 12 years’ worth of financial data from FTSE 100 companies, the study found that companies with three or more female directors massively outperformed their counterparts with less diverse boards.  

The message in all of these findings is clear. Inclusive and diverse leadership can only be good for FTSE 100 companies.

Right now, when many are struggling to maintain their footing in a COVID-19 world, diversity in boardrooms and in senior leadership is one way of ensuring that companies are drawing from the widest pool of talent possible. It could be just what is needed to foster speedier economic recovery and growth post-COVID.

Current statistics on boardroom diversity

Here are the best-performing FTSE 100 companies in terms of female board member makeup (alongside their BAME boardroom representation) according to DailyF:.

Company Female board member makeup BAME boardroom representation
M&G 57.1% 0%

Rightmove

55.6% 22%

Taylor Wimpey

55.6% 0%

Auto Trader Group

55.6% 0%

Severn Trent

50% 12.5%

Standard Life Aberdeen

50% 10%

In all of these companies, the percentage of female board members is 50% or more, with M&G leading the way with 57.1% female board members.

When it comes to BAME representation, most of these companies are seriously lacking. Indeed, out of these six companies, where female board membership is at 50% or more, only two have any sort of BAME representation.

Will we see more diverse boards in the future?

According to a World Economic Forum report, it may take up to 100 years to achieve global gender equality. But if some of the progress shown by FTSE 100 companies in recent times is anything to go by, it might not take a century to achieve gender equality in their boardrooms.

One key target of the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review, for 33% of all FTSE board level positions to be occupied by women by 2020, has already been met (almost a year early).

So if progress continues at the current rate, I think we might see female board member makeup in all FTSE 100 companies hit 50% sooner rather than later. 

However, more must be done to ensure that there is sufficient BAME representation in the boardrooms of FTSE 100 companies.

What are the implications of boardroom diversity for investors?

Needless to say, as an investor, the choice of stocks for your portfolio ought to be based on your preferences. At the same time, smart investors are those who can identify market trends and patterns, and take advantage.

So if your research shows that companies with more diversity in their boardrooms and in senior leadership are performing better revenue-wise, it makes sense to consider investing in them.

If you decide to invest, setting up a portfolio is quite simple these days with an online share dealing account. We have scoured the market and assembled a list of what we think are the best online share dealing accounts to help you find one that’s a good fit.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Mastercard. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, and Tesco.

More on Personal Finance

Young black colleagues high-fiving each other at work
Investing Articles

If I’d invested £1k in Marks and Spencer shares at the start of 2023, here’s what I’d have now

Marks and Spencer shares have massively outperformed the UK stock market year-to-date. Can this form continue?

Read more »

Note paper with question mark on orange background
Personal Finance

Should you invest your ISA in a model portfolio?

Which model ISA portfolios offer both high performance and low fees? Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor and AJ Bell go under…

Read more »

Economic Uncertainty Ahead Sign With Stormy Background
Personal Finance

Is it time to exit emerging markets investments?

Investors may well be sitting on losses from emerging markets funds. Is it worth keeping the faith for a sustained…

Read more »

Personal Finance

Share trading? Three shares with turnaround potential

Share trading has been difficult in 2022, but which companies have turnaround potential? Jo Groves takes a closer look at…

Read more »

Man using credit card and smartphone for purchasing goods online.
Personal Finance

Revealed! Why Gen Z may be the savviest generation when it comes to credit cards

New research reveals that Gen Z may be the most astute when it comes to credit cards. But why? And…

Read more »

Environmental technology concept.
Personal Finance

The 10 best-performing sectors for ISA investors

The best-performing sectors over the past year invested in real assets such as infrastructure, but is this trend set to…

Read more »

Road sign warning of a risk ahead
Personal Finance

Recession risk ‘on the rise’: is it time for investors to worry?

A major global bank has suggested the risk of a recession in the UK is 'on the rise'. So, should…

Read more »

pensive bearded business man sitting on chair looking out of the window
Personal Finance

1 in 4 cutting back on investments amid cost of living crisis

New research shows one in four investors have cut back on their investing contributions to cope with the rising cost…

Read more »