Statistics from the report suggest that gender parity in top jobs across has been pushed back another four years and is now projected for 2036.
Companies with greater gender diversity were shown to achieve higher profits and companies without female executives suffered bigger financial losses.
The manufacturing and engineering industry was shown to be failing to meet the all-FTSE 350 average for women on executive committees, with less than 25 per cent of women in key executive committee and P&L (profit and loss) roles.
Manufacturing and engineering companies were shown to have just 11 per cent of female executives on their main boards, and only nine per cent of women executives in P&L roles.
Research from the report also suggested that if all FTSE 350 companies with less than 33 per cent of women on their executive committees were to achieve the same profit margin as those with 33 per cent and greater, there would be an additional £123bn in pre-tax profit for the UK economy.
Lorna Fitzsimons, co-founder of The Pipeline said that the pandemic could have been ‘transformative’ for FTSE 350 companies, but that instead there has been a ‘reversion to type with companies continuing to fail women’.
“Times of crisis are moments that offer the possibility of major shifts away from established paradigms, but the extreme stresses involved can also drive a response that is regressive,” she commented.
Co-founder Margaret McDonagh added: “Women Count 2021 shows that without decisive action, the future is looking grim for both women who want to be the next boss and the wider economy. Evidence of this lies in the incredibly low-level of women who are in executive committee roles with profit and loss responsibility, which are critical pre-CEO positions, a situation that remains largely unchanged in the last 12 months.”