IoD press release Over a third of business leaders feel that business is not doing enough to address gender discrimination

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.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the IoD is hosting the inaugural event in its Changemaker Series ‘Women Leading Sustainability’. The series will showcase trailblazers who are making a positive impact through better business. The event will hear from pioneering women leading with sustainable business solutions to solve the complex challenges facing the Fashion, Food and Finance industries.

Full results

669 respondents, conducted between 11th-28th February 2022

As we approach International Women’s Day on 8th March, attention is focusing on whether organisations are doing enough to tackle gender discrimination. Do you feel that UK business as a whole does enough to address this issue in the workplace?

To a large extent
To a sufficient extent
To an insufficient extent
Don't know

Better directors for a better world

The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
Internet Explorer
Your web browser is out of date and is not supported by the IoD website. It is important to update your browser for increased security and a better web experience.