The latest Women Count report has found that only 4% of women in FTSE 350 hospitality companies are represented as executive directors on their boards in 2019.
The research by gender diversity business The Pipeline, also revealed that only 21% of women in accommodation and food service companies were represented on their executive committees.
In response to the findings, the group has called on the UK government to adopt a target of 33% women on executive committees as a requirement in public procurement for organisations with annual turnovers in excess of £100m.
It added that FTSE 350 companies should also have at least one woman executive director on their main board.
Lorna Fitzsimons, co-founder of the Pipeline, said: “Over the last four years ‘Women Count’ has proven that the FTSE 350 is not a meritocracy. When over 90% of men hold all the major positions from CEO, executive director and P&L roles there is something seriously wrong. The top listed companies are systematically failing to utilise their equally if not more talented female colleagues.
“We need to redefine the best person for the job and factor in the value of diversity to the executive committee’s performance. Businesses severely limit the talent they attract and retain as well as their bottom line when they exclude women. It’s time for the government and fund managers to force change.”