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The proportion of women on boards continues to rise

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17 Jan 2014

Latest published figures show that the proportion of women on UK boards continues to increase. However, further appointments are still required in order to achieve 25 per-cent female representation by 2015 as set by Lord Davies in his report in February 2011.

Statistics released by the Professional Boards Forums’ BoardWatch highlight that women made up 20.4 per-cent of FTSE 100 directors (as of 9 January 2014), up from 19 per-cent as of October 2013 and 12.5 per-cent as of February 2011 when Lord Davies reported.  The figures also highlight that 27 per-cent of all board appointments since 1 March 2013 have been women.  To achieve the target set by Lord Davies, 51 more board seats on FTSE 100 companies are required to be held by women.  This figure has reduced from 66 as of October 2013. 

FTSE 250 companies are also reporting an increase with 15.1 percent of women directors on their boards, up from 14.9 percent as of October 2013 and 7.8 percent as of February 2011.  Thirty-one per cent of all board appointments to FTSE 250 companies since March 2013 have been women.  To achieve the target set by Lord Davies, 197 more board seats on FTSE 250 companies are required to be held by women.  This figure has reduced from 202 as of October 2013. 

There has been a decrease in the number of all-male boards in the FTSE 100 which has fallen from six in October 2013 to two in January 2014.  The number of all-male boards for FTSE 250 companies has decreased from 51 in October 2013 to 50 in January 2014. 

The government has challenged companies to “seize the opportunity and increase the number of women in their boardrooms”.  The government has asked FTSE 350 Chairs to:

aim to appoint one additional female director in the year ahead

consider giving two female candidates from senior management the opportunity to serve as a non-executive director at another company

state clear targets for the number of women at senior management and board level and what steps they are taking to achieve those targets

The latest Women on Boards update report is expected in March 2014.

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