Women directors move up in numbers at biggest British companies

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 October, 2013, 11:57am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 October, 2013, 3:57pm

The number of women directors who now sit on the boards of Britain’s biggest companies has risen, a government report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills showed.

The latest figures for “Women on Boards” showed the number of female directors at FTSE-100 companies had risen to 19 per cent from 12.5 per cent since its inception in 2011, when the study by former British trade minister Mervyn Davies was first published.

The report recommends that boards of the FTSE 350 list of Britain’s biggest companies aim for a minimum of 25 per cent female representation by 2015.

According to the study, FTSE-100 companies need to appoint 66 more female directors in the next two years to meet Davies’ target.

Meanwhile, the report showed that the number of all-male boards on the FTSE-100 index had fallen to six, down from 21 in 2010, according to Professional Boards Forum BoardWatch, which tracks the appointments of women to British company boards.

In the FTSE-250, the proportion of female board members has risen to 14.9 per cent from 7.8 per cent in 2010 and 13.8 per cent reported in May this year. However, the number of female executive directors fell to 5.4 per cent from 5.7 per cent reported in May.

“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,” Vince Cable, the secretary of state for business, said in a statement.