Firms ignore women director targets

Some two-thirds of Britain's top 100 companies have so far ignored calls to set targets for boosting the number of women they have on their boards, a progress report revealed today.









The Government-commissioned Lord Davies review, published in February, recommended that firms listed on the FTSE 100 Index should aim for a minimum of one in four female board members by 2015.



But an official progress check by the Cranfield School of Management found just 33 companies have heeded this recommendation.



Elsewhere, the Cranfield report said 21 women have been appointed to board positions out of a possible 93 - representing 22.5% of all new appointments, short of the 33% recommended by former trade minister Lord Davies of Abersoch.











In February, Lord Davies called on chairmen to announce their targets for 2013 and 2015 within six months, but only 33 have heeded this recommendation.

The Cranfield report said Lloyds Banking Group and Rolls-Royce stood out for "boldly" aiming to increase their female representation by between 20% and 23%.



There was some progress since the review was published, the Cranfield report said, with the number of women holding FTSE 100 board directorships increasing from 12.5% to 14.2%, or 155 out of a total of 1,092 positions.



Ruth Sealy, co-author of the Cranfield report, said: "The results from our report suggest the recommendations in Lord Davies's review have had beneficial effects in terms of reinforcing good practice, but they also demonstrate an institutional inertia, whereby companies persist in their existing approach - or lack thereof - to gender diversity on boards.



"It is so important that our top companies set the standard for achieving better representation on their boards."



Elsewhere, the FTSE 250 Index has seen 28, or 18%, out of a possible 158 new appointments go to women.



Commenting on the update, Lord Davies said: "This is about good business practice, it is also about securing performance.



"You need engagement and diversity in teams to achieve success. Too many UK boards and executive teams do not have it. We are working to change that."



The results of the Cranfield report will be discussed later today at a Downing Street event with Prime Minister David Cameron to celebrate women's contribution to UK business.



Mr Cameron is understood to be writing to companies that have yet to draw up targets for increasing female representation to encourage some action.



Helen Wells, director of gender campaign Opportunity Now, said: "The move towards setting aspirational goals for the number of women on corporate boards is gathering pace.



"Those FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies who have not yet published their goals should do so, or risk being left behind in the race for talent."



PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness