Government review by Lord Davies calls for 25% female board representation by 2015 – but stops short of mandatory quotas.
LONDON: A government inquiry into male dominance of UK boardrooms has ruled out setting mandatory quotas to force companies to hire female executives but said FTSE 100 companies should aim for a minimum of 25% female board representation by 2015.
Lord Davies of Abersoch, who led the official review for the government, said “radical change” was needed “to ensure that more talented and gifted women can get into the top jobs in companies across the UK”.
FTSE 350 companies should be setting their own, “challenging targets” and he expects that many will achieve “a much higher figure” than the minimum 25%.
Launching the report on Thursday, Davies called on chairmen to announce their goals in the next six months and for chief executives to review the percentage of women they aim to have on their executive committees in 2013 and 2015.
Davies said: “Over the past 25 years the number of women in full-time employment has increased by more than a third and there have been many steps towards gender equality in the workplace, with flexible working and the Equal Pay Act, however, there is still a long way to go.
“Currently 18 FTSE 100 companies have no female directors at all and nearly half of all FTSE 250 companies do not have a woman in the boardroom. Radical change is needed in the mindset of the business community if we are to implement the scale of change that is needed.