A gender equality milestone? Bringing cash back & who is suing Tesco?

Management Today's breakdown of the week's news stories that might have gone under the radar.

by Stephen Jones
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2019

Nearly a third of FTSE 350 board positions are filled by women

Thirty per cent of FTSE directors are now women, according to figures released by the campaign group 30% Club. The organisation, which was founded in 2010 and has chapters in 14 countries, wrote to FTSE 350 bosses in 2016 urging them to meet the target by 2020.

It’s an important milestone, but it’s debatable whether it’s meaningful progress. Almost all of the new female directors are non-executive, and it hardly seems to count if they only work there a few days a year. 

On the other hand, there’s an argument that increasing diversity around the table will challenge biases, making it easier for women to reach executive director positions in future. 

In any case, just 13 per cent of FTSE 350 CEOs are women, over half (51) of FTSE 100 companies have no BAME directors and 60 per cent of businesses failed to appoint a named disability champion within their senior management.  

(Source: The 30% Club)

Fund launched for request-an-ATM 

Link, the UK’s largest ATM network, has launched a £1m fund to set up ATMs in communities that don’t have access to them. Local consumers can bid for funding, but have to meet certain criteria, which include having no immediate access to a post office and a safe location being found. 

At present, it’s estimated that the money will only pay for about 50 machines, but Link hopes to make more available if the service proves popular. 

Nationwide, the use of cash has been declining for some years, falling to 16 per cent of all payments in 2018, yet it remains a vital source of income, particularly among over 50s; or in rural or more deprived areas (according to Which’s Access to Cash report, 17 per cent of people say it is an economic necessity). That’s easy to forget with the proliferation of trendy fintechs offering smart and easy-access credit solutions.

(Source: BBC)

Tesco is being sued over unequal pay

It’s been an eventful week for Britain’s biggest supermarket chain. On Monday, it announced that it would be closing the first of its year-old discount Jack’s stores, on Wednesday CEO Dave Lewis announced his surprise departure and now the chain is facing a legal battle over equal pay. 

The Tesco Action Group, a group of current and former employees, is suing the chain, claiming that female staff have been paid less than their male counterparts. It’s on the basis that by paying store workers £3 less an hour than distribution centre staff, Tesco is in breach of the 2010 Equality Act, because the majority of store workers are female and majority of warehouse staff are male. 

They think that as many as 250,000 staff could be owed back pay worth a collective £2.5bn. 

All the big four grocery chains are facing similar legal challenges. In January a court ruled that former Asda workers were right to compare shopfloor roles to those in the warehouse - a ruling which has now been elevated to the Supreme Court on appeal by Asda. 

(Source Metro)

Image credit: John Keeble / Contributor


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