On the up – the number of women in British boardrooms rises to 19%

Vince Cable believes target of 25 per cent female representation by 2015 can be met

The proportion of female directors of FTSE 100 companies has risen to 19 per cent, a study has revealed, up from 12.5 per cent two years ago.

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, welcomed the figures and said that he was confident the Government’s target of 25 per cent representation on FTSE 100 boards by 2015 was achievable. According to the study, almost a quarter of non-executive directors are women, up from 15 per cent in February 2011. However only 6.1 per cent of executive directors are female.

The 2011 figure appeared in a report from Lord Davies, Women on Boards, which was commissioned after a study by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission showed that, without further action, it would take 70 years to achieve gender-balanced boardrooms in the UK’s top 100 companies.

The number of companies in the FTSE 100 with women on their boards now stands at 94 as a result of the merger of Glencore and Xstrata – neither of which has a female board member – created an extra slot in the index that was filled by easyJet. The airline has a female chief executive officer, Carolyn McCall, and also has the former KPMG chief finance officer Adele Anderson in a non-executive position.

In January Mr Cable wrote to all those companies with no female board representation – the mining firms Xstrata, Glencore, Kazakhmys, Vedanta and Antofagasta; the engineering group Melrose and chemicals manufacturer Croda – to urge them to do more.

Despite the increase in overall representation there are only three women running FTSE 100 companies – Angela Ahrendts at Burberry, Alison Cooper at Imperial Tobacco and Ms McCall at easyJet.

If Cable wants a carrot to encourage the bottom six, he could point to a 2012 report by Credit Suisse Group AG, which showed that mixed boards can lead to better financial performance.

In the past six years, the report said that companies with a market value of more than $10bn (£6.2bn) that had at least one woman on the board had a significantly better share price performance than those with all-male boardrooms. While mining companies are often seen as the last male bastion, with little chance for women to work in the field or rise up through the ranks, Anglo American had a female CEO, Cynthia Carroll until recently, while BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto had 15 and 14 per cent female representation on their boards respectively.

In a statement earlier this year, GlencoreXstrata said: “The appointment of a female board director is a significant consideration and will be an important area of focus for [our] new nominations committee.

Mr Cable said: “Businesses are clearly still striving to get the right mix of talent around their boardroom table and we must not lose that momentum.”

“But appointing more women as non-executive directors is not an end in itself. This is about more talented women getting executive experience, so that they will not only advise but run this country’s great companies.”

Lord Davies said: “These figures are a sign that we have come a long way since our report in 2011. However, this is no time to get complacent. We have still got a long way to go.”

News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
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 General

Web Developer/UI Developer (HTML5, CSS3,Jquery) London

£55000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

Data Scientist (SQL, PHP, RSPSS, CPLEX, SARS, AI) - London

£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...

C# Web Developer (C#, MS Dynamics CRM, SQL, SQl Server) London

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

Oracle developer- (Oracle, PL/SQL, UNIX/LINUX) - Trade- London

£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: One of the global leaders in prov...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering