Skip to content

Discover the female FTSE 100 CEOs of 2020

Cropped view of women holding hands and standing in hight heel shoes on grey background

In 2020, only 5% of FTSE 100 CEOs are women. The FTSE 250 is even further behind, with just 2%, including IG’s June Felix.

Last year, 23% of executive committee members in the FTSE 100 were women, and the combined number of women in executive and senior positions reached 28.6%. Further, a FTSE 100 pay gap still exists, and the highest-paying male CEO earns significantly more than the highest-paid female executive.

A lot of questions come to mind. Why are we seeing these poor numbers? When will we see 50/50 representation if the current rate of change continues? And what exactly does the future of female leadership look like?

To bring this narrative to life, IG has produced ‘Women CEOs in the UK’ – a guide to the female CEOs of the FTSE 100. The guide includes a useful infographic and provides insights into female representation, the gender pay gap, common barriers for women in corporate spaces, and more. You can view it here.

What are the key takeaways?

  • The number of female FTSE 100 CEOs has increased by just one since 2012 – from four to five
  • At the current rate, it will take more than 80 years before women achieve equality at the CEO level
  • Only 18 FTSE 100 companies have more than 33% women in leadership positions
  • Female FTSE 100 CEOs earn 16.66% less on average than their male counterparts
  • The highest-paid male CEO earns almost 90% more than the highest-paid female

The ‘Women CEOs in the UK’ site also profiles the five female FTSE 100 CEOs of 2020. They are:

  1. Emma Walmsley: GlaxoSmithKline

Joined GSK in 2010 and became its chief executive in 2017. She is the only woman among the 25 highest-paid CEOs in the FTSE 100 but still earns about a tenth of the highest-paid male CEO.

  1. Liv Garfield: Severn Trent

Appointed in 2014 and is still the youngest CEO of a FTSE 100 company to date. Severn Trent’s share price has seen an improvement of 33.9% since she’s been at the helm.

  1. Carolyn McCall: ITV

Chosen as the first female chief executive of the ITV group. She was awarded the Office of the Order of the British Empire for her services to women in business.

  1. Allison Brittain: Whitbread

Lauded for overseeing a sale that provided a major cash injection for Whitbread.  She was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2019.

  1. Alison Rose: Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Worked for RBS for 27 years and was appointed as chief executive in 2019. She is expected to roll out a new strategy for the bank to boost efficiency.

So, where does IG stand in terms of inclusivity and the female leadership growth course? The company’s CEO June Felix was recently interviewed about equality in the workplace, stating the following:

‘I believe without any doubt whatsoever that equality, fairness, meritocracy, openness and diversity of thought are the most important qualities that any organisation can have.

At IG I lead a business that is targeting growth through innovation and technology; using our expertise to extend into new products and new markets.

We have some ambitious targets – goals that we will only achieve by attracting and retaining the best people from the broadest possible pool and providing them with an environment where they can bring their very best each day.

We know that to win in rapidly changing global markets, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion are immaterial. Regardless of anyone’s background, what we are looking for are people who will make our organisation better – not because they fit in and think the same way, but because they bring unique perspectives and experiences.

Diversity of thought is not only the right thing to do – it makes sound commercial sense too.’

A recent appointment of Joanna Naylor as Chief Legal and Governance Officer has also supported IG’s goal of being more gender inclusive when it comes to senior appointments. IG now has a total of four women on its board, which already represents 36% of the total.

You may also like...

Andrew Mclaughlan leaning against a door

Welcome to the new Business Leader

Welcome to the new Business Leader. We’re excited to reintroduce ourselves to the dynamic business community in the UK, starting with our relaunched website and invigorated mission.  At Business Leader we’ve identified a glaring need to support the trailblazers – the founders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs propelling mid-sized companies forward. Our commitment is clear: to inspire...

Andrew McLaughlan

Chāmpo beauty products

How Chāmpo became the UK’s fastest-growing beauty company

Ranked eighth on The Sunday Times Hundred 2023, making it the UK’s fastest-growing beauty company, Chāmpo has achieved a compound annual growth rate of 217% over the past three years and sold more than one million products since its 2019 launch. The company, which provides clinically proven formulas for a new generation of haircare consumers,...

James Cook

Five actions that will drive 2024 business growth

As we enter 2024, the spotlight is on key predictions shaping the landscape for SMEs and global growth. With economic instability rife and technology evolving swiftly, SMEs must take proactive steps to manage resources and stay updated on market trends. According to recent research from Three Business, UK SMEs are anticipating an average of 15%...

Patricia Cullen