The latest annual report from Lord Davies shows that four years on from his original findings, female representation on the Boards of the country’s largest companies has almost doubled to 23.5%.
The report, published each year alongside the Cranfield University School of Management’s Female FTSE Board report, suggests that Boards are close to achieving Lord Davies’ target, set in 2011, for 25% female representation by 2015. Just 17 more Board positions need to be filled by women for the target to be reached.
Professor Susan Vinnicombe CBE, co-author of the report and Director of the Cranfield International Centre for Women Leader, described the figures as representing “a huge achievement in a relatively short space of time.”
“It has taken many years for the debate on women on boards to be taken seriously, but we are now seeing significant progress. There is no doubt that the Davies Review and the threat of EU-wide quotas has had a major impact on this progress. It is crucial that the momentum that has built up around this issue is maintained,” she says.
In contrast, the proportion of female executive directors is a very different story: just 8.6% of executive directors in the FTSE100 are female and the figure for the FTSE250 is a paltry 4.6%. Moreover, 23 boards in the FTSE 250 are still all male.
Included with the Cranfield report is a list of ‘100 Women to Watch’, which identifies100 women who are suitable candidates for a FTSE Board position and who are currently sit on the Executive Committees of FTSE 250 companies or are in significant roles of other major institutions. Among these 100 women is our own Executive Chair, Joëlle Warren.
Passionate about diversity on Boards, Joëlle was involved in the establishment of regional 2% Clubs where she remains a Vice Chair and was also involved in the BIS working group to develop the Voluntary Code for UK Executive Search firms. In addition, Joëlle serves as Chair of the Cheshire Community Foundation, is Vice Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire and is a former Vice Chair on Manchester Metropolitan University’s Board.