Some 44% of board appointments to FTSE 100 companies since 1 March have been women, but all have been non-executive directors, according to the latest report from the Professional Boards Forum.
The survey shows 35% of appointments to the UK’s 250 biggest companies have been women, with only 12% of new executive directors being women.
The Forum points out that Karen Witts will boost the executive director figures in October when she takes up her role as group finance director of retail company Kingfisher.
Jane Scott, UK director of The Professional Boards Forum, said: “The increase in the number of women FTSE 100 Non-Executive Directors should not be dismissed as ‘window-dressing’ or ‘box-ticking’. NEDs play a vital role in corporate governance and chairmen and nominations committees take recruitment of new directors seriously, with decisions scrutinised and agreed by the company’s shareholders. The responsibilities and demands upon NEDs of public companies continue to increase and the bar is rightly high for both men and women.”
Female representation on boards currently stands at 17.5% for FTSE 100 companies, up from 12.5% in 2010, and at 11.3% for FTSE 250 companies, up from 7.8%. There are still eight all-male boards on the FTSE 100 and 94 on the FTSE 250 (37.6%).