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Drinks

Diageo One Of Four FTSE 100 Companies To Have A Female CEO And CFO

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Diageo One Of Four FTSE 100 Companies To Have A Female CEO And CFO

Drinks giant Diageo is one of just four companies in the UK's prestigious FTSE 100 Index to have both a female chief executive and a female chief financial officer, a new study from AJ Bell has found.

Other firms to have both a female CEO and CFO include Aviva, GSK and Severn Trent, it noted.

Diageo chief executive Debra Crew (pictured) assumed the top job at the spirits firm sooner than expected last year, following the passing of former chief executive Ivan Menezes. Diageo's CFO, Lavanya Chandrashekar, has been in her role since 2021.

Boardroom Diversity

According to the investment platform, there are twice as many female chief financial officers as female chief executives in FTSE 100 companies, with the fact that close to a quarter (24) of firms on the index have a female CFO showing that "progress is being made on UK boardroom diversity," commented Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at AJ Bell.

Just ten firms, however have female chief executives – Severn Trent, GSK, Aviva, Admiral, Taylor Wimpey, Vodafone, United Utilities, Diageo, Entain and BT – with this indicating that more progress needs to be made to ensure female representation at the top level.

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'Think More Broadly'

"There are no hard rules regarding gender for London-listed companies but there have been voluntary, business-led campaigns in recent years to encourage both gender and racial diversity," said Hewson.

“Boards should judge candidates based on their abilities, ideas and qualities. They must avoid the temptation to appoint the person with the biggest number of leadership roles on their CV as the strongest candidate might be someone who has not been given the opportunity in the past to step up.

"Ultimately, boards and hiring committees need to think more broadly when selecting candidates.”

Companies in the FTSE 100 to have a female CFO include Next (Amanda James), NatWest (Katie Murray), Beazley (Sally Lake), Pearson (Sally Johnson), Smith & Nephew (Anne-Francoise Nesmes), Rightmove (Alison Dolan), Land Securities (Vanessa Simms), Diageo (Lavanya Chandrashekar), AstraZeneca (Aradhana Sarin), Hargreaves Lansdown (Amy Stirling), Shell (Sinead Gorman), Barclays (Anna Cross), Smiths Group (Clare Sherrer), M&G (Kathryn McLeland), Aviva (Charlotte Jones), Sainsbury’s (Blathnaid Bergin), WPP (Joanne Wilson), Croda (Louisa Burdett), GSK (Julie Brown), Burberry (Kate Ferry), Severn Trent (Helen Miles), Rolls-Royce (Helen McCabe), BP (Kate Thomson), and RS Group (Kate Ringrose).

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