Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Female representation on FTSE100 boards rises

November 2013

Latest figures for women on boards show that female representation in the top FTSE100 companies’ boards continues to increase.?

The statistics suggest that the UK is making good progress in reaching the target of 25% of board positions being held by women by 2015.

Figures show that 19% of directors are female (up from 12.5% in February 2011). Of this, 23.8% of non-executive directors are female; 6.1% of executive directors are women. Indeed, 24% of board appointments since 1 March 2013 have been women. In May 2013 this was 12% ?– in order to reach the target of 25%, FTSE100 companies need to appoint 66 more female directors in the next two years. ?

Britain’s Business Secretary Vince Cable commented: “Businesses are clearly still striving to get the right mix of talent around their boardroom table and we must not lose that momentum. But appointing more women as non executive directors is not an end in itself. This is about more talented women getting executive experience, so that they will not only advise, but run this country’s great companies.” While good progress is being made in terms of the representation figures, there is still more work needed to address the number of all-male boards in the FTSE100, which has increased in the last six months.?

Government continues to engage these companies with Vince Cable writing to the all-male boards earlier this year asking them to outline what steps they taking to address this issue.

Figures for the FTSE250 today show that 14.9% of directors are female. Of this: 18.6% of non-executive directors are women; 5.4% of executive directors are women. There are 199 boards with females on them, up from 188 in May.

However, ?a note of caution has been sounded by Professor Nada Kakabadse, a global authority on policy and governance, who states that positive discrimination towards women at board level fails to improve business performance.

Addressing The University of Strathclyde Business School UAE’s ‘Research Squared’ event recently, Kakabadse said: “Our study of boards at 50 top companies across the UK, US, Ghana and Nigeria, found that policies designed to increase the number of women in executive positions have delivered no significant impact on a board’s performance.

“This challenges widely held perceptions that gender diversity by itself in the workplace improves effectiveness, or increases the motivation and loyalty of employees.

“We found that the presence of women on a board on its own adds little or no value.” 

UK & NI Ireland | Equality


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