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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Number of women on FTSE 100 boards leaps by a third


The number of women with a seat on the board of FTSE 100 companies has leapt by a third over the last year following the introduction of voluntary targets, according to the government.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills revealed that females now hold 16.7% of all board positions in such organisations, up from 12.5% a year ago.
The shift has come about since former trade minister Lord Davies recommended that FTSE 100 companies increase female board representation to 25% by 2015 in a bid to increase diversity at the top.
Many UK employers have been keen to show willing because, if sufficient progress is not made, they face the threat of mandatory quotas being imposed on them by the European Union.
The proportion of women sitting on FTSE 250 boards also jumped from 7.8% to 10.9% over the same period.
Vince Cable, the business secretary, hailed the “progress” that had been made over the last year and said it proved that taking a voluntary approach to boosting diversity was working.
But Audrey Williams, partner at law firm, Eversheds, told the Daily Telegraph that the government would be hoping the figures would stave off pressure from the European Parliament to introduce EU-wide binding quotas – a move that Cable has vowed to oppose.
“The impression given by the Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, is that patience is wearing thin in Brussels but that, if companies can demonstrate real and lasting progress through voluntary means, they may yet avoid having new legislation imposed on them,” she said.
FTSE companies were “moving in the right direction”, but needed to maintain the momentum that had already been built up, Williams added.
Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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