The Business On... Lord Davies, Chair, Review of Women on Boards


Um, isn't he a chap?

Yes, that rather underlines the problem. When the Government wanted a senior business figure to investigate why so few women make it on to the boards of Britain's largest companies, it had to ask a man to do the job. Lord Davies is due to report today.



So what are his qualifications?

Well, he does know a bit about minority interests – he's a fluent Welsh speaker. He knows the boardroom well, too. Back when he was humble Mervyn Davies, he enjoyed a successful career in banking, latterly as chief executive and then chairman of Standard Chartered.



But surely bankers are all alpha-male types?

Don't be so clichéd. Yes, Lord Davies likes his sport – he's a fitness fanatic who has served as a non-executive on the board of Spurs – but he's in touch with his sensitive side, too, enjoying art and opera. Anyway, Standard Chartered wasn't like other banks – it came through the financial crisis with its reputation enhanced rather than in tatters.



Are people going to listen to him?

He knows how to wield influence in political circles, having been close to Gordon Brown – he served as a trade minister before Labour got the boot last year. His business connections remain strong, too – he's mates with Roland Rudd, the all-powerful boss of City public-relations agency Finsbury.



The boy from the valleys has come a long way, then?

There you go again with the clichés. Actually, he's from Colwyn Bay in North Wales, miles from the valleys. He started out working for what was then Midland Bank in Liverpool, but spent a good deal of his banking career working around the world.



And what will he say today?

Broadly, that we should not yet have quotas compelling companies to appoint more female directors, but that we do need targets and constant monitoring of business's progress towards hitting them. It's the sort of compromise one would expect from someone savvy enough to have negotiated a way through the thickets of banking and politics.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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 People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

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
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy