Increase of women at boardroom level slowing down, study shows

Confederation of British Industry (CBI) President Sir Roger Carr believes more is needed to increase the number of female directors, following a new report showing a slowing down in figures during the past six months.

The Cranfield School of Management’s annual FTSE report states that while the proportion and number of female directors in FTSE continues to increase, the rate of increased has slowed over the past six months.

In the six months from last March, 44% of new appointments went to women, and 36% in companies in the FTSE 250.

But the levels dropped in the last six months to 26% and 29%, falling short of the 25% recommended by a Government commissioned review led by Lord Davies of Abersoch.

Sir Roger, whose organisation speaks for 240,000 businesses that together employ around a third of the private sector workforce, said: “Greater diversity improves atmospherics, dynamics and decision-making in British boardrooms.

“Businesses can only secure the best available individuals if they look at the widest pool of candidates.”

Mr Carr believes that in order to further develop female talent at boardroom level, business leaders must increase efforts and improve in the areas of recruitment, mentoring and succession planning.

“Tokenistic EU quotas will do nothing to address the root causes of this issue.  It is critical we nurture a diverse talent base right from the bottom to the top of our companies to hone our competitive edge,” he added.

The new report follows a study by the EEF Manufacturing Organisation last month, which found out of the 29 manufacturing firms in the FTSE 100, women accounted for 19% of board positions.