Number of women on boards of top companies increases

Returners Programme


Fifteeen companies have reached the 25% women directors target set by Lord Davies for 2015, according to a publication by the Professional Boards Forum. 

The report show the proportion of women on FTSE 100 boards now stands at 14.9% which it says “represents steady progress in the past year”. There were just 12.5% women directors at the beginning of 2011. There are only 10 all-male boards, down from 21 in 2011 and 27% of board appointments since 1 March 2011 have been women.

Lord Davies’ target is for 25% women directors on FTSE 100 boards by 2015 and all new appointments from March 2011 to be 2/3 male and 1/3 female.

For FTSE 250 companies the proportion of women is now 9.2%, up from 7.8% in 2011. Some 115 (46%) of companies have all-male boards (down from 52.4%). A quarter of board appointments since March have been women.

Lord Davies said of FTSE 250 companies: “FTSE 250 companies are starting from a lower position and tend to have smaller boards, so the target needs to be adjusted accordingly. They should still apply the 2/3 men, 1/3 women rule to all new appointments.”

Helen Wells, Director of Opportunity Now, said: “I welcome the research from the Professional Boards Forum showing continued progress on women on boards. Whilst it’s great that 27% of board appointments last year were women, that needs to rise to a third if the Davies target is to be met.  It’s clear that there is a strong pool of board ready women.  Chairmen, appointment committees and head hunters need to continue to up their game.”

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