Britain’s government revealed that there are no longer any all-male boards on the FTSE 100 as the number of female members doubled from 2011 to date.
The latest annual report from Lord Davies of Abersoch released today, commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, showed that female representation almost doubled to 23.5%, from only 12.5% in 2011.
The research, which is published alongside the Cranfield University School of Management’s Female FTSE Board report, suggested that Britain’s biggest companies are on track to hit Lord Davies’s target of 25% by 2015.
“We must celebrate this outstanding achievement and the change in culture that is taking hold at the heart of British business. The evidence is irrefutable: boards with a healthy female representation outperform their male-dominated rivals,” said Britain’s business secretary Vince Cable in a statement.
“I am confident we will reach our target this year, but our work is not complete. British business must keep its eye on the long game, as we strive to achieve gender parity. We have made good progress in the last 4 years, and if we continue this trend in the next parliament, I would expect to exceed a third of female representation by 2020. We know that’s where the tipping point lies in influencing decision-making. We must also focus on ensuring women are rising fast enough through the pipeline and taking up executive positions.”
In February 2011, Lord Davies published the first report into “Women on Boards” in a bid to ensure that more women were appointed to boardroom positions.
All FTSE 100 companies now have a mixture of male and female board members. There are currently 263 women on FTSE 100 boards. The report highlighted the companies that have a greater proportion of females on their boards that exceed to overall 25% target.
It also highlighted how some companies vastly improved their female representation on their boards.
“We have almost doubled women’s representation on FTSE 100 boards in 4 years; we only need 17 more women to be appointed to these boards and we will have met the 25% target we set ourselves,” said Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan in a statement. “When we started this work in 2011 there were 21 FTSE 100 boards that had no women on them. Now there are no all-male boards left. This is great news. But to keep on track we also need to ensure that women are well represented at senior executive level too, making them ready to take up board level positions.”
“This is not only good for women, but good for business too. Boards which reflect their customers and clients are better able to understand their needs and respond to them.”
But the report also showed that a lot more needs to be done across the FTSE 250 overall. Currently, there are 23 all-male boards in the FTSE 250. Only 365 women are board members.
Meanwhile, across the FTSE 250, some 23% of Non-Executive Directors and 4.6% of Executive Directors are women. This is lower than the FTSE 100 statistics which shows that 28.5% of Non-Executive Directors 8.6% of Executive Directors are women.