The FTSE100 made history today (26 June 2014) with the news of Glencore Xstrata’s appointment of Patrice Merrin to their board, meaning that there remain no all-male boards in the UK’s top companies. The appointment has been welcomed by the Business Secretary Vince Cable and comes as a result of government and business efforts to improve boardroom diversity in the UK following the Lord Davies review of 2011.
This is a historic day for the FTSE and for the reforms I’ve been pushing for to ensure that there is more diversity in the talent running our biggest companies.
Huge progress has been made on this agenda since 2010 and from today every single top 100 company listed on the London stock exchange now counts a woman on their board.
This last appointment has been long in the making but I congratulate Glencore Xstrata today on hiring their first woman non-executive board director.
The case for change is clear - businesses with diversity at their top are more successful. British businesses have embraced this move for change and done so in a voluntary way, without recourse for legal targets.
Much more needs to be done of course to tackle diversity in the FTSE 250 and to fix the pipeline of women working their way up to the top of businesses to become the leaders of tomorrow. But for today, let us celebrate this important landmark achieved working hand in hand with business, not by imposing tokenistic targets, which other countries have favoured.