Women make up 40% of boards at top U.K. companies for first time
By Peter Schulte profile image Peter Schulte
5 min read

Women make up 40% of boards at top U.K. companies for first time

And nine more of this week's milestones for climate, justice, democracy, health, and more.

Women make up 40% of boards at top U.K. companies for first time

According to a new report from the British government, 40% of board seats at the country’s top 350 companies are now filled by women for the first time ever. Just over a decade ago, more than 150 of the top 350 companies had no women board members at all. Now, as of 2022, all have at least one woman sitting on their board.

The stunning progress comes on the heels of an explicit goal set by the business-led FTSE Women Leaders Review to reach 40% representation by 2025. Through a concerted effort from the business community, backing from public regulators, and significant shareholder pressure, the goal was met three years ahead of schedule. The achievement is perhaps particularly impressive given that compliance was entirely voluntary, unlike in neighboring countries such as France and Belgium which have begun implementing mandatory quota systems.

The milestone is not only a moral victory, but likely a major boon to the economy and workplaces across the country. The research is increasingly clear: as female representation on corporate boards improves, so does engagement, cohesion, and ultimately company performance. Perhaps British workplaces and others around the world are not only getting fairer but also more fun and fulfilling.


U.S. FDA approves over-the-counter sale of overdose reversal drug Narcan

Naloxone is a life-saving drug that rapidly reverses or blocks the effects of opioids, especially when given within minutes of the first signs of an overdose. Narcan is now the first naloxone-based drug available without a prescription.


Europe establishes its first wild river national park in Albania

45 hydropower projects were planned for the Vjosa’s delicate ecology for years—But, last week, after a nearly decade-long struggle by environmental NGOs, Vjosa was designated as Europe’s first wild river national park.


Pakistani president upholds equal rights for female employees in groundbreaking move

The President further emphasized that discrimination against women is against the spirit of the founders of Pakistan, against the fair practices of Islam, and against the Constitution.


Critically-endangered West African lion rebounding in Senegal

The lion population in Senegal’s Niokolo Koba Nation Park has grown slowly from a razor’s edge pride of 10 to 15 individuals in 2011 to perhaps as many as 40 today.


E.U. strikes ‘ground-breaking’ deal to cut maritime emissions

Under the law, which is being hailed as the most ambitious maritime fuel legislation in the world, ship emissions will be reduced by 2% as of 2025 and 80% as of 2050.


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs protections bill in historic LGBTQ+ victory

The bill, which passed the state house in a 64 to 45 vote earlier this month, adds the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity to Michigan’s 1976 Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA).


Chile declares some 247,100 acres of whale habitat in Northern Patagonia a marine protected area

The area is frequented not only by blue whales, but also by humpback whales, sei whales, at least two species of dolphin, the South American sea lion, and colonies of penguins.


500 baby sharks to be released in Indonesia in unprecedented marine rewilding

An international consortium of 44 aquariums in 15 countries is banding together to create a huge captive-breeding-and-release program that aims to reintroduce 500 zebra sharks to their native waters in Indonesia's Raja Ampat.


New project to bring education to 10 million girls in rural India

Working in partnership with the government, Educate Girls operates in over 20,000 villages serving adolescent girls and young women who have permanently dropped out of school.


Clara Abbott of Abbott Laboratories becomes perhaps the first woman ever to serve on a corporate board (1900 C.E.)

She served on the board of Abbott Laboratories from 1900 to 1908 and from 1911 to 1924 before the company was publicly listed, blazing a trail for female business leaders for decades to come.


Women comprise at least 40% of corporate boards in all of the world’s top ten economies for first time ever (2036 C.E. ???)

The major milestone in female corporate representation proved not only a stunning ethical victory but a significant boon to company cohesion and performance.

These milestones – past, present & future – have been added to:

Archive of Human Genius

Our directory of purpose-driven organizations, leaders, and resources:

Teal Pages

Updates & Reflections

As many of you know, in addition to publishing this good news newsletter, Spark of Genius hosts an online course called Change 101, which helps aspiring change leaders tap into their genius and live their authentic purpose. I've also been publishing excerpts from my upcoming book Humanity Is Beautiful bit by bit as I write them.

In the past, these offerings were both set up as courses that you could purchase. To access them, you'd have to go to the website, log on, etc.

As of this week, these are now both set up as newsletters just like this one that will come right to your inbox in addition to living on the Spark of Genius website. Rather than pay for them separately, you can now access all our premium content for $10 a month.

This change comes largely out of the realization that while I love writing the Change 101 content, recently it has felt like I was forcing it all into structured, sequential courses. Maybe it felt more credible or dignified to have an online course, rather than a blog or newsletter. But it slowly dawned on me that this structure hasn't really been serving the content, the reader, or me. By offering these as weekly pieces, it offers me more freedom both to write whatever feels most alive at the moment and to respond to questions from you all. And hopefully offering them as email newsletters makes them simpler for you to access.

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Peter Schulte

Purpose & Impact Coach

Founder & Executive Director, Spark of Genius

Bellingham, WA USA / Lummi & Nooksack lands

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