Almost half of FTSE 100 corporate comms directors are female, survey finds

The gender split of corporate comms directors across the FTSE 100 was almost equal in 2014, according to a survey by headhunters Watson Helsby.

2014 was the first year Watson Helsby included a gender split in its annual report on the industry.

The survey also found there was very low turnover (11 per cent) of corporate comms directors in 2014. Of the 11 per cent of new hires, 46 per cent were made from within the company and 54 per cent were hired externally.

FTSE 100 companies that appointed an external corporate comms director last year included AMEC, BAE Systems, Burberry, Diageo and Pearson. Meanwhile HSBC, SAB Miller and RBS made internal hires.

The survey showed little change year-on-year in the percentage of companies that employed a corporate comms/affairs director. In 2014 the figure stood at 77 per cent – the same as 2013.

The 21 companies that did not have a comms director all sat in the bottom 20 of the FTSE 100 and were b2b companies with a reasonably low profile operating in markets where there is low political and regulatory scrutiny, or were not headquartered in the UK. One other reason is that the position had been made redundant in 2014 and not reinstated.

Of the 77 per cent of FTSE 100s that did have a director of corporate comms, 43 per cent regarded it as an executive committee-level post and 57 per cent did not. These figures have not changed since 2013.

Basic pay varied significantly between higher and lower-ranking FTSE 100 companies. The report calculated average remuneration packages from three groups – salaries at companies in the top 20 of the FTSE 100 ranged from £225,000 to £800,000; FTSE 40-60 between £150,000 and £290,000 and at the bottom (80-100) average pay was between £140,000 and £250,000.

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