Over one third of business leaders feel industry not doing enough to address sexism

To coincide with International Women’s Day, the Institute of Directors has released research showing that over a third (36%) of business leaders feel that UK business is not doing enough to address gender discrimination in the workplace.

In the survey of almost 700 business leaders in February 2022, the research found that less than a quarter (23%) of directors felt that UK business addresses the issue of gender discrimination in the workplace to a large extent.

Commenting on the findings, Alex (Alexandra) Hall-Chen, Senior Policy Adviser at the Institute of Directors, said:

“UK businesses have made promising progress in tackling gender discrimination and increasing female representation in senior positions in recent years, with a third of FTSE 250 board positions now being held by women.

“However, clearly the job is not done. There is more that business can do to stamp out gender discrimination at all levels and strive for greater representation by women.

“We know that an inclusive approach makes good business sense, both in terms of how the company is viewed by society and through its positive impact on decision-making. As an organisation, we have seen the benefits an inclusive Board and executive team can bring in terms of business results. We encourage other businesses to take action to develop a pipeline of female leaders for their boardrooms.”

Last week, alongside other business groups, the Institute of Directors called on the UK Government to replace the term ‘Chairman’ with the neutral term ‘Chair’ in its model articles, as a small but symbolic step towards achieving gender equality in business.