News story

Home Secretary celebrates women in business

The Home Secretary joined the Prime Minister and leading business women at Downing St reception to celebrate women’s contribution to business.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

To coincide with the event Lord Davies presented a six month update of women’s representation on boards. 

The progress report produced by Cranfield University School of Management, finds that 61 of the FTSE 100 companies have responded to the Lord Davies review, acknowledging that gender diversity is an issue, with 33 setting themselves targets for the percentage of women they aim to have on their boards.

The report also shows that only 21 women have been appointed to board positions out of a possible 93 - some way short of the 25 per cent recommended in the Davies report.

Still a long way to go

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May said: ‘The business case for increasing the number of women on boards is clear. It’s about improving performance and having a board that reflects and understands its customers.
‘Better use of women’s skills could be worth billions of pounds to our economy each year. I am pleased with the progress reported today, but there is still a long way to go.

‘Increasing women’s representation at senior levels will increase diversity and help close the gender pay gap.’

Progress update

Cranfield University report findings:

  • Women make up 14.2 per cent of FTSE 100 Directors - up from 12.55 per cent in 2010
  • Women make up 8.9 per cent of FTSE 250 Directors - up from 7.8 per cent in 2010
  • 22.5 per cent of all board appointments since publication have been female
  • There are 14 all male boards within the FTSE 100 - down from 21 in 2010

Increasing women’s representation on boards is just one of a series of actions the government is taking to promote equality in the workplace and help close the gender pay gap, including a new voluntary equality reporting initiative, which has already seen sign-up from some of the UK’s leading companies.
Our ‘Think, Act, Report’ initiative aimed at improving transparency on gender equality issues in the private and voluntary sector also marks a major breakthrough in encouraging more transparency on gender equality issues in the workplace.


Published 13 October 2011