FTSE 100 falls behind the diversity trend: leaders are still largely British, male and 45-plus

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Diversity strategies are still lacking in the FSTE 100, new research reveals.

While diversity among the FTSE 100 Index has come a long way, it could be further encouraged at board level, especially when it comes to gender, nationality and age.

Analysis of today's FTSE 100 leaders has found there are only four women on the FTSE 100 Index list, the majority of CEOs (59%) are British nationals and only four of the FTSE 100 CEOs are under the age of 45

Following the latest reorganisation of the FTSE 100 Index, which came into effect this week, the annual Robert Half FTSE 100 CEO Tracker has revealed over half (51%) of serving CEOs in the current FTSE 100 Index have strong financial backgrounds.  
  
While the majority of CEOs are British nationals, the remaining leaders come from a wide range of countries, including Mexico, Syria, India and South Africa. The youngest FTSE 100 CEO is Oleg Novachuk who, at only 38, runs the copper mining company Kazakhmys. Jaime Lomelín of Fresnillo, who has been at the helm for over 20 years, retains his title as being the oldest CEO in the FTSE 100 Index, aged 74.  

For the past two years the number of FTSE 100 CEOs (51%) with a financial background has continued to dominate the Index, indicating the importance of understanding economic factors when leading a business.  
 
Of the 11 FTSE 100 CEOs who have been appointed over the past year, seven leaders have financial backgrounds, including Michael Queen of 3i and Peter Voser of Royal Dutch Shell - who were both promoted from finance director roles at their respective companies.  
 
Phil Sheridan, managing director of Robert Half UK, said: "Recently we have seen unprecedented turmoil within the business world, but the consistent strong showing of CEOs who have a financial background is testament to the fact that financially-minded leaders are regarded as firm guides through challenging economic times."

Seven of the FTSE 100 CEOs hold titles, including Dame Marjorie Scardino of Pearson, the international media and publishing company, and Sir Martin Sorrell, who also holds the accolade of longest serving FTSE 100 CEO.  Sorrell, of advertising and communications giant WPP, has been at the top for nearly 25 years.  
 
Sorrell is also one of a clutch of FTSE 100 CEOs who attended the elite halls of Oxbridge. In an increase on last year, 23 of current CEOs attended either Oxford or Cambridge with the vast majority of the rest holding some form of higher education qualification.