Thursday, 2 December 2010

UK: the 2010 Female FTSE Board Report published

Cranfield School of Management has today published the 2010 edition of its annual Female FTSE Board Report: see here (pdf). To quote from the report's executive summary:

2010 saw another year of barely perceptible change in the representation of women in leadership positions of UK PLC’s top 100 companies. The incremental increases include three additional women on FTSE 100 boards taking the total to 116; one additional female executive director (ED); four more companies with women on their boards; and two more companies with more than one woman on the board, returning to 2008 levels. Overall, the percentage of women on FTSE 100 boards is 12.5%, showing a three year plateau. The number of companies with no female directors has decreased to 21 and the number of companies with more than one woman on the board has returned to the 2008 figure of 39. Only 13% of new appointments went to women".

The report makes the following recommendations:

  • Strengthen the new principle on diversity in selection within the UK Corporate Governance Code to ‘Comply or Explain’. Any Chairman with less than 20% women on their boards and executive committees needs to explain why this is the case in their annual reports. This should apply to all FTSE 350 listed companies. The 20% should be reviewed in three years time with a view to lifting it to 30%.
  • Advertise all NED positions in the private sector.
  • Require search consultants to produce balanced candidate lists.
  • Continue to make the appointments process as rigorous and objective as possible through use of skills audits.
  • Use peer-to-peer pressure from FTSE 100 Chairmen to encourage FTSE 250 Chairmen to seek female candidates for their boards.

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