One company claimed women would not understand 'extremely complex' issues
Leading companies in the UK have been described as "pitiful" and "patronising", after coming up with feeble excuses to explain why they have not promoted a single woman to their corporate boards.
One company claimed that women would not understand the "extremely complex" issues covered during board meetings, while another excused its all-male leadership group by claiming that "board colleagues wouldn't want to appoint a woman".
A third said that "most women don't want the hassle or pressure of sitting on a board".
The excuses were all made to the team working for a review, which is backed by the British government and scrutinises the gender balance of boards at the top of Britain's leading companies.
It is aiming for women to hold one-third of senior positions.
Among the explanations given for not employing more women were:
The latest statistics on the number of women in Britain's boardrooms will be announced at the end of June.
It follows the publication of data about the gender pay gap from more than 8,000 companies earlier this year.
The Hampton Alexander Review said: "Although gender balance on FTSE Boards has undergone a significant shift in the last five years, it is clear there is still more work to do and to sustain progress, appointing more women in leadership roles below the Board, remains the complex and longer-term challenge.
"The review will continue the voluntary business-led approach, joining all stakeholders together in action to improve the number of women on FTSE Boards and in leadership positions."