This study examines the progress of women on the board of directors of UK FTSE 100 companies 


Gender equality, board diversity, accountability and the effectiveness of decision making in executive boards are associated with the proportion of women appointed to the board.  We have created an original dataset that includes quantitative data drawn from official records of UK Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 companies and databases such as Orbis and BoardEx, for years 2010 to 2017.

The data records:

  • all directors on boards
  •  official role titles
  •  committee memberships
  •  joining dates
  • gender
  • date of birth
  • nationalities.
Looking at the companies in the dataset, we have recorded the sectors, market capitalisation, and number of employees. 

We are examining the progress of women on the board of directors of these companies with the aim of analysing how women professionally progress and whether this is reflected in their presence as interlocks between boards. 

To date, we have found evidence that women’s prominence (through their prominence in interlocks) is associated to previous board memberships more than is the case for men.  Women rank consistently higher than men as brokers in these interlocks. 


Considering a number of potential underlying variables, we explore Relational Event Models (REMs) and compare the patterns of women appointments to men. We also explore multi-mode network analysis in identifying latent structure of the underlying data. 

We intend to expand our data frame to the UK FTSE 350 and plan to conduct in-depth interviews with key figures to further showcase successful career pathways and strategies among those that have shattered the glass ceiling. 

Follow our projects on Twitter @CNE_EBS and contact us at