The Government is working with companies to implement the recommendations of the Lord Davies Review of Women on Boards.
In August 2010 Lord Davies was tasked by the government to lead a review into how obstacles can be removed to allow more women to reach Board level positions in organisations. Following a wide consultation Lord Davies published his recommendations in February 2011.
The review recommended that UK listed companies in the FTSE 100 should be aiming for a minimum of 25% female board member representation by 2015. It also recommended that FTSE 350 companies should be setting their own challenging targets. Lord Davies called on chairpersons to announce these goals within six months of his report.
Lord Davies review into Women on Boards
On 12 October 2011 Cranfield University published a six month progress report detailing the developments made following the Lord Davies recommendations. The report 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 the target for the percentage of women they aim to have on their boards.
Women on Boards six-month monitoring report
On 13 March 2012, Lord Davies published his first annual progress report on his review of Women on Boards. The report tracks the progress that has been made against each of Lord Davies’ ten original recommendations.
Full progress report and key statistics
Home Secretary’s speech at launch of progress report
The government has set a new aspiration that by the end of the current Parliament 50 per cent of all new appointments to public boards will be women.
On 28 May 2012, the Government published its response to the European Commission consultation on gender imbalance in corporate boards in the EU. The response makes clear that the UK does not support EU action in this area and sets out evidence on how the number of women in senior positions can be increased without resorting to regulation.
Government response to European Commission consultation