Government chose a man for role to boost number of women in FTSE executive jobs

Sir Philip Hampton, chair of GlaxoSmithKline, aims to increase the number of women in FTSE 350 roles

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The Independent Online

Sir Philip Hampton has been appointed to a Government role designed to boost the number of executive jobs given to women. 

The former chair of RBS and current chairman of GlaxoSmithKline was appointed to lead an independent review on increasing representation of women in the executive level of FTSE 350 companies. 

BIS, the department for business, innovation, and skills announced his appointment on Sunday, along with that of Dame Helen Alexander, chair of UBM who will take the role of deputy chair. 

The independent review will continue the work carried out by the Women on Boards review, which saw the number of women in executive positions rise from 12.5 per cent to the target of 25 per cent. 

Business secretary Sajid Javid said: “The employment rate for women has never been higher and there are now more women on FTSE boards than ever before. But we need to go further, particularly when it comes to paving the way to the executive level.”

He added: “Sir Philip brings a wealth of business experience to this important role, and he has an impressive track record of creating a culture where women can thrive and succeed.”

BIS stated that Sir Philip and Dame Helen were chosen to lead the independent review due to their extensive combined experience at executive and non-executive levels: "Both have a good track record of women on boards at the firms they’ve worked at, and are well respected across the FTSE350."

Sir Philip said he was delighted to be taking on the role and emphasised that he wants to turn his attention to the FTSE 350.

“I will focus on improving representation in the executive layer of companies, as well as maintaining the momentum on boards," he said.

"This means looking at the talent pipeline for female executives and emerging non-executive directors to ensure we create opportunities and the right conditions for women to succeed.”

However, Twitter users questioned the decision to appoint a man to a key job designed to help women.

The Independent has asked BIS for comment.