Conservative politician and U.K. government minister Ian Duncan dubbed the excuses “shocking and pathetic,” while Amanda Mackenzie, CEO of responsible business organization Business in the Community, said that “you might think it’s 1918, not 2018. It (the list) reads like a script from a comedy parody, but it’s true.”
However, Mackenzie remained optimistic that a more gender-equal future was becoming more likely.
“We have plenty of reasons to be optimistic — the combination of gender pay gap reporting and the increased focus on equality and diversity in general by responsible businesses means there are more women on boards than ever before,” she said.
“While we still have a long way to go, with the collaboration between government, employers and their employees (both men and women), we could see true equality in our lifetime.”
Signs of improvement were highlighted in a report published in March that showed that almost 29 percent of FTSE 100 board positions are now held by women, up from 12.5 percent in 2011. The same report revealed that the number for women on FTSE 350 boards had risen to 25.2 percent.