Female boards were more likely to cut executive pay in the pandemic


Firms with more women on their boards were more likely to cut executive pay in the pandemic

Companies with more women on their boards were increasingly likely to slash executive pay during the pandemic.

Fewer than half of firms worth more than £500million or more made cuts, according to a study by the High Pay Centre think tank. 

Cost-cutting measures saw 104 out of 216 firms worth £500million or more take at least one measure to save money on pay between March and May 2020.

Pay caps: The companies that cut the most executive pay during the pandemic tended to have more female directors on their boards

The most common measure was to trim executive salaries by 10 per cent to 20 per cent. 

But companies that cut pay by 25 per cent to 40 per cent had on average 3.5 female directors on their board. 

This compared to slightly more than two female directors for those that made no reductions.

The research analysed statements from major companies to the stock market.

High Pay Centre director Luke Hildyard said: ‘Willingness to cut executive pay during the pandemic is potentially a good indicator of socially responsible business decision making more generally.’

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