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New drive to increase number of women in boardrooms

Anh Nguyen | Feb. 24, 2011
Chairmen of FTSE 350 companies are expected to announce their goals for increasing the proportion of women in the boardrooms by September.

As well as expecting all chairmen to announce their goals within the next six months, Davies expects all chief executives to review the proportion of women they aim to have on their executive committees in 2013 and 2015.

Furthermore, he recommended quoted companies to be required to disclose every year the proportion of women on the board, in senior executive positions and female employees in the whole organisation.

Maggie Berry, managing director of, backed the report's recommendations.

"Action needs to be taken to speed up the progression of women in the workplace.

"I believe organisations need to set targets related to gender diversity, as opposed to quotas which have more negative connotations linked to positive discrimination. Introducing quotas would not be a popular move among many women who would instead rather achieve based on their ability and merit," she said.

The IT industry body Intellect, which runs a Women in IT Forum, said that the Davies report is a positive step towards recognising female talent in businesses.

"Greater participation of women in boardrooms is necessary and the way to do this is to increase the number of senior female executives from which board members can be drawn," said Carrie Hartnell, associate director of Intellect's Women in IT Forum.

"There is a business case, not just an equality case, for diverse boardrooms, which is even more important in a period when the need for private sector growth is paramount. Intellect and its Women in IT Forum will continue to work in an open and collaborative manner to inspire the cultural change required for achieving the targets set in Lord Davies' report."


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