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Women board targets ignored

Women board targets ignored

Most of the top 100 companies are ignoring calls to set targets to increase the number of women on their boards, a report has revealed.

The Cranfield School of Management reported that only 33 companies or one-third had heeded a recommendation calling to put in place targets for one in four females to be on the boards of FTSE-100 companies by 2015.

This was recommended by the government-commissioned Lord Davies review, published in February.

Elsewhere, the Cranfield report revealed only 21 women have been appointed to board positions out of a possible 93 - this fell 10.5 per cent short of the 33 per cent recommended for new appointments by the former trade minister's commission.

Lloyds Banking Group and Rolls-Royce received praise for plans to boost female representation by between 20 and 23 per cent.

Since February, the proportion of women on FTSE-100 boards has also gone up to 14.2 per cent from 12.5 per cent.

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."

Lord Davies added: "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."

Posted on 17th Oct 11

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