EHRC issues guidance to help boost number of women on boards
New guidance published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) advises companies, search firms and recruitment agencies about positive steps that can be taken to improve the representation of women on boards.
Setting aspirational targets for increasing the number of women on boards within a particular timescale and targeting networking opportunities for women, are all effective measures companies can – and should – take, says the Commission.
The guidance comes as the Commission launches a Great Britain-wide inquiry into the recruitment and appointment practices of the top 350 listed companies at board level.
The Inquiry, to be chaired by EHRC Commissioner Laura Carstensen, will work closely with those companies to examine their recruitment and selection processes and the experience of applicants and decision makers. The aim is to identify recruitment practices which make a difference and deliver open, fair and merit based appointments.
The findings of the Commission’s inquiry will be published in spring 2015 and used to produce best practice guidance.
Carstensen commented: “Research suggests that companies with diverse boards produce better performance and many companies recognise this. Equality is for everyone, and it is clear that there is still much more to be done to ensure that women have an equal opportunity to succeed on merit in gaining board positions.
“A lack of gender balance on boards is a detriment not only to women with the ability to hold such roles but also to businesses and the economy. In an ever more competitive and global economy, we cannot afford to be overlooking the talent of half of our population.”