LONDON, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Government officials in Britain expressed shock and dismay on Thursday at reasons given by male bosses for not promoting women to top jobs.
The explanations and excuses came from a range of FTSE 3200 chairs and chief executive officers (CEOs), a government-backed review team revealed.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the outrageous explanations for not having more women on top company boards included "they don't fit in", "they don't want the hassle" and "all the good ones have already gone".
Evidence shows that bridging the gender pay gap could add 200 billion U.S. dollars to the British economy by 2025, BEIS said. Tackling the gender pay gap is part of the government's modern Industrial Strategy.
The number of all-male FTSE 3200 company boards has already fallen from 152 in 2011 to 10 in 2017, but the review has called for bosses to ensure that one-third of FTSE leadership positions are occupied by women by 2020.
BEIS said despite a major drop in the number of top companies with all-male boards, many are still refusing to move with the times.
"Outrageous explanations for not appointing more women include suggestions they are not able to understand the 'extremely complex' issues FTSE boards deal with and the idea women do not want the 'hassle or pressure' of sitting on a top board," said BEIS.
Business minister Andrew Griffiths said the appalling explanations released prove that companies have more work to do.
Griffiths said: "It's shocking that some businesses think these pitiful and patronising excuses are acceptable reasons to keep women from the top jobs. Our most successful companies are those that champion diversity."
Sir Philip Hampton, who is chairing the review, criticised business leaders who paid lip service to women but did very little to appoint them to top jobs.
He said: "Around a third of FTSE 3200 companies still have very few women either on their boards or in senior leadership roles."
Amanda Mackenzie, CEO of Business in the Community said: "As you read this list of excuses you might think it's 1918, not 2018. It reads like a script from a comedy parody, but it's true."
"Maybe those that give credence to these excuses are the ones that are not up to sitting on boards and should move over -- we are in the 21st century after all."