New research has shown 50-plus male accountants still dominate the chief executive position in UK companies, despite pressure from the Government for diversity on boards.
The latest figures from recruitment group Robert Half, in its FTSE 100 CEO Tracker, analysed the background of companies' chief executives and revealed that half have an accountancy or financial management background.
Phil Sheridan, Half's UK managing director, said: "The doubling of the attrition rate and the introduction of more advertising and marketing specialists shows movement in the market, but the old guard of finance still holds sway with executives with a background in accountancy and finance holding the reins of the UK's top companies."
A similar study also released today by PWC's research arm Strategy& looked at the number of new chief executive appointments globally and found women made up just 3 per cent of the global incoming class in 2013, a 1.3 percentage point drop from the previous year.
It found that over the past 10 years, the US and Canada have had the highest share of women CEO appointments at 3.2 per cent, while Europe stood at just 1.4 per cent.
Its survey also shows that women are more often hired from outside their company, and are more often forced out of office than male counterparts.
Strategy& predicts that by 2040, women will make up one third of new chief executives globally.