March 25, 2015

UK set to hit 25% female boardroom target

Companies listed on the UK’s FTSE 100 are likely to hit their 25% target for female boardroom representation, but more ambitious measures are still required.

The latest report from Lord Davies revealed that women hold 23.5% of directorships in Britain’s biggest companies, almost double the number in 2011 when the target was set.

Around 8.6% of all executive roles in FTSE 100 firms now belong to women, up from 5.5% in 2011 and marking an all-time high. Nonetheless, this still demonstrates relatively slow progress compared to female employment rates in less senior roles.

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced a desire to extend this gender-balancing target to all FTSE 250 firms, to tackle the "serious deficiency" of women in chief executive and chairmanship roles.

Commenting on the latest report, he said: "If we continue this trend in the next parliament, I would expect to exceed a third of female representation by 2020.

"We must also focus on ensuring women are rising fast enough through the pipeline and taking up executive positions."

Nina Smith echoes this point in her article on gender quotas on boards of directors. She discusses how quotas alone cannot lead to a larger pool of qualified female candidates in the medium and long term, and that policy should focus on balancing the gender division of careers within families and growing female human capital within companies.

Read more here.

Related articles:
Gender quotas on boards of directors, by Nina Smith
Equal pay legislation and the gender wage gap, by Solomon W. Polachek
Gender diversity in teams, by Ghazala Azmat