A new report released today shows women in boardroom positions has risen by 3.4% in the past year.
Three years on from Lord Davies of Abersoch’s 2011 review into the matter, the third annual Women on Boards report shows women now account for 20.7% of board positions in the FTSE100, up from 17.3% in April 2013.
Lord Davies, who originally set a target three years ago of achieving 25 per cent in 2015, said ahead of his speech at Barclays, sponsors of an additional report released by Cranfield report: “The rate of change that we have seen at the heart of our biggest companies over the last three years has been impressive.
“The voluntary approach is working and companies have got the message that better balanced boards bring real business benefits. We are finally seeing a culture change taking place at the heart of British business.”
He added: “However, the eyes of the world are on us as we enter the home straight. They are judging us as to whether the voluntary approach, rather than regulation, will work – we need to now prove we can do this on our own.”
Business secretary Vince Cable said the latest figures show that businesses are getting the right mix of talent around their boardroom table and understand the importance of this.
“Ninety eight of the FTSE100 boards are now made up of at least one woman and we need fewer than 50 new women appointments to FTS100 boards to reach our target of twenty five per cent of women on all FTSE100 boards in the next year. This is a huge improvement from where we started just three years ago.”
“But we will only achieve this if there is a renewed, concentrated effort by Chairs and CEOs to continue to change the makeup of management at their top table.
Minister for women and equalities Maria Miller added: “The workplace was designed by men for men. Women don’t need special treatment they just need a modernised workplace that gives them a level playing field.
“Supporting women to fulfil their full potential should be a core business issue; not just so we can reach our target of 25% of female appointments to FTSE100 boards by next year, but for the long term sustainability of our economy.”