New figures have revealed that the UK is making good progress towards achieving its target of having 25% of boardrooms at top companies made up of women by 2015.
According to the statistics, 19% of directors at FTSE 100 companies are now female, compared to the 12.5% in 2011. Meanwhile, 24% of board appointments since March 1 2013 have been women.
In order to reach the target, firms need to appoint a further 66 female directors over the next 2 years.
Lord Davies, who led a government review into women on boards in 2011, said, “Businesses are making real efforts to find and appoint capable women to their boards and I will continue to champion their efforts. We have now moved to a place where it is unacceptable for the voice of women to be absent from the boardroom.”
The number of women has risen also for the FTSE 250, with 14.9% of directors now female compared to 7.8% in 2011. A total of 199 boards have women in them, compared to 188 in May 2013.
A recent study suggested that putting females in higher ranking positions within top firms could actually boost the economy by 10%, while statistics from McKinsey suggest that companies perform better financially with more equal gender balances in their boardrooms.
Business secretary Vince Cable said, “I’m glad the number of women at the top of our most successful companies continues to rise. Businesses are clearly still striving to get the right mix of talent around their boardroom table and we must not lose that momentum.
“We have until 2015 to reach our target of 25% of women on the boards of listed companies which Lord Davies set us two years ago. With today’s encouraging figures, I am confident we can get over the finish line.”
He added, “But appointing more women as non executive directors is not an end in itself. This is about more talented women getting executive experience, so that they will not only advise, but run this country’s great companies.”