February 05 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Women on boards of big UK companies nears 25 per cent, finds survey

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UK’s biggest companies are making progress for female representation in the boardroom.

The target for companies to have 25 per cent of board roles taken by women is now “in sight”, according to Vince Cable, the business secretary. Much progress has been made since 2010 and shows the UK’s “voluntary, business-led approach is working”, Mr Cable added.

Currently there is a voluntary target for firms to increase the number of women on the boards of companies. However, the European Union could introduce compulsory legislations if businesses fail to meet the target.

 

Female boardroom representation hits 22.8 per cent

Within the companies that comprise the FTSE 100 index - the 100 firms that have the highest market capitalisation in the UK - the average female representation in the boardroom rose to 22.8 per cent in October last year, up from 20.7 per cent in March 2014.

The figures were revealed by Vince Cable as part of the recently released Inspirational Women in Business report, which is aimed to improve diversity in the top companies of the UK.

“Our target of 25 per cent women on boards by 2015 is in sight. However, the threat of EU mandatory targets remains a reality if we do not meet it,” Mr Cable explained. Which is why British businesses should make sure they “must not take their foot off the pedal during the final stretch”.

 

Old Mutual, Aggreko & GSK take podium places

The report also included a league table that illustrated which ten companies were the most improved. It revealed that Old Mutual had made the most progress in having female board representation in the last four years.

Old Mutual, the investment firm, went from zero per cent female representation to 38.5 per cent by the end of 2014.

Power provider, Aggreko, also went from zero to hero as it posted the second-best improvement as three women now sit on its board compared with none four years ago.

Third place goes to GlaxoSmithKline, as the number of women on its board increased by 28 percentage points since 2010.

Erin O’Neill

Erin O’Neill is an LSBF News Writer who reports on small business, careers, technology and education news.

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