Sports Direct shamed for all-male board room

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Sports Direct has been singled by a review aimed at shaming top companies with all-male boards after a government report revealed gender diversity targets will be missed.

The Hampton-Alexander Review of FTSE 350 business has singled out 10 companies, dubbed the “inglorious 10”, who are yet to appoint a woman to their board room.

Mike Ashley’s sportswear retailer was pointed out as the only retailer in the list, which also included Stobart, TBC Bank and JP Morgan Japanese Investment Trust.

The review, which launched in 2016, gave the 350 top businesses a target of having a third of their boards represented by women by 2020.

Amid this interim update, it was found that it is likely this target will be missed.

Although the number of women on boards has risen to 25.5 per cent, to reach its target about 40 per cent of all appointments need to go to women in the next two years.

“The inglorious ten companies who still have all-male boards need to drag themselves out of the dark-ages and ensure they bring in a more diverse and valuable perspective to the running of their businesses rather than running a closed club of the old-boys’ network,” business committee chair Rachel Reeves said.

In April, Sports Direct revealed that its 6.3 per cent median pay gap was well below the national average of 17.4 per cent

However, the gender pay gap is significantly worse when it comes to bonus payments.

On the median measure, bonuses pocketed by male employees were 45.7 per cent higher than those given to women.

It has previously said: “Sports Direct places a significant emphasis on equality and fairness when it comes to earnings across the group.”

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