Women on Boards: On Target for 25% by 2015


2 mins

Posted on 07 Apr 2014

The latest progress report on Women on Boards reveals that women now account for 20.7% of FTSE 100 board positions. 

Back in 2011, Lord Davies set a target of achieving 25% female representation on FTSE 100 boards. Since then progress has been steady, rising from 12.5% in 2011 to the current 20.7%.

For FTSE 100 boards, the latest figures reveal that: 

  • women now account for 20.7% of overall board directorships, up from 17.3% in April 2013;
  • of this, women account for 25.5% of non-executive directorships and 6.9% of executive directorships;
  • women accounted for 28% of all board appointments in 2013/14;
  • there remain two all-male boards – Glencore Xstrata and Antofagasta; and
  • fewer than 50 new women appointments need to be made to reach the 25% target.

For FTSE 250 boards the statistics were not as good:

  • women now account for 15.6% of overall board directorships, up from 13.2% in 2013;
  • of this, women account for 19.6% of non-executive directorships and 5.3% of executive directorships;
  • women accounted for 33% of all board appointments in 2013/14; and
  • there remain 48 all-male boards. However, 83 of the all male boards in 2011 have now recruited one or more women on to their boards.

The latest figures lend support to those who favour a business led voluntary approach to increasing board diversity, as opposed to legislative quotas or EU intervention. The UK’s progress is being watched by the world and failure to meet Lord Davies’ target could result in the imposition of quotas.

However, more needs to be done to ensure that the number of women holding executive board appointments increases. The glass ceiling is proving extremely difficult to crack and the figure of 6.9% for executive directorships is disappointingly low. Women make up nearly half of the UK population and outperform men educationally and yet they remain seriously under-represented in senior roles.

The latest figures come from the third Women on Boards: Davies Review Annual Report 

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