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Jan 16, 2014

New milestone as women comprise 20 percent of FTSE 100 boards

Number of all-male boards in the index drops to three

The number of women taking seats in FTSE 100 boardrooms has reached 20 percent for the first time, while the number of women holding non-executive directorships now stands at 25 percent, according to the latest research from the Professional Boards Forum.

Thirty-six companies in the FTSE 100 now boast boards featuring at least 25 percent female representation, while 13 firms have 30 percent or more. The number of companies that still have an all-male board has dropped to just three, down from 21 when Lord Davies published his report calling for at least 25 percent of boardroom seats to be held by women by 2015.

‘Antofagasta, Glencore Xstrata and the London Stock Exchange Group are cutting increasing lonely figures [with their] remaining all-male boards on the FTSE 100. None of these will want to be the last one standing,’ says Jane Scott, who compiles the Professional Boards Forum’s BoardWatch statistics, in a press statement.

‘FTSE 100 chairmen have been rigorous and patient in recruiting for their boards, holding out for the best-qualified candidates and insisting their advisers look in a wider talent pool. The result has been high-caliber appointments and steady progress in the overall diversity and gender balance on FTSE 100 boards. These new statistics are encouraging and give cause for optimism that Lord Davies’ target will be met ‒ preferably exceeded ‒ next year.’

Since March 2013, according to the Professional Boards Forum, 27 percent of new FTSE 100 board appointments have gone to women, leaving the index just 51 female appointments away from Lord Davies’ target.

‘Germany is introducing quotas. The UK is succeeding without [them] – it is impressive and encouraging,’ adds Elin Hurvenes, chair and founder of the Professional Boards Forum.

Garnet Roach

An award-winning journalist, Garnet Roach joined IR Magazine in October 2012, working on both the editorial and research sides of the publication. Prior to entering the world of investor relations, her freelance career covered a broad range of...