Women should occupy at least a quarter of jobs on the boards of the UK’s top companies within four years, suggests a report issued by the government.
But Lord Davies of Abersoch, a former trade minister who led the review, stopped short of introducing quotas to force companies to hire more female executives.
Women make up 46 percent of the active population in the UK but only 12.5 percent of positions on the boards of FTSE 100 companies. Eighteen FTSE 100 companies and almost half of FTSE 250 companies have no female directors. Yet 60 percent of university graduates are women.
In his report Davies said that “radical change is needed in the mindset of the business community” with regards to gender equality, adding:
“This is not just about aiming for a specific figure and is not just about promoting equal opportunities but it is about improving business performance. There is growing evidence to show that diverse boards are better boards, delivering financial out-performance and stock market growth.”
Davies suggests that within six months, companies should set their own targets for boosting female board representation and then either achieve them or explain why they failed to. Those targets should be set for 2013 and 2015, he added.
The report goes on to say that if these voluntary targets were unsuccessful, then quotas should be considered as an alternative.
Norway agreed to introduce a 40 percent quota of female directors of listed companies in 2003. Since then the rate of female representation on boards has shot up from 6.8 percent to around the 40 percent required by the quota. France and Spain have launched similar initiatives. Supporters of the quota system say voluntary targets are ineffective and often go ignored.
But many in the business sector are keen to avoid government-imposed quotas, arguing that they would be too inflexible and would not reflect the different circumstances of individual companies.
The report also encourages investors to take into consideration gender equality when re-appointing board members and urges head-hunting firms to draw up a voluntary code of practice to address gender diversity.
- 1Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 2Several reported dead and missing after severe floods in southern France
- 3Russia launches more air strikes in Syria
- 4Merkel makes migrant plea as Germany marks 25 years of reunification
- 5Polish priest dismissed from Vatican post after coming out as gay
- 1Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 2German interior minister criticises lack of appreciation from some refugees
- 3ISIL operations centre in Idlib, Syria ‘destroyed’ by Russian airstrike
- 4Bombing in Syria not World War III, says Russia’s EU ambassador
- 5Russian action ‘resets chessboard in Syria,’ says analyst
- 1NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 2Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 3Poland: thousands turn out for anti-immigration protests
- 4Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 5France claims Russian jets have struck rebel, not IS forces in Homs
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Syrian refugee tripped by shamed camera woman is named
- 3Hungarian camera woman caught on video kicking and tripping migrants could face jail
- 4Hungarian reporter who tripped migrants apologises for her actions
- 5NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 6Latest News Bulletin
- 7At least 220 dead in stampede outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia reports
- 8Egyptian billionaire offers to buy Mediterranean island to house refugees
- 9International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 10Denmark: launches anti-migrant ad campaign
- 11Hungarian camerawoman fired after being filmed kicking migrants
- 12Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees… or are they?
- 13Spain: Catalan President faces ‘civil disobedience’ charges over breakaway vote
- 14Banzai back in the vocabulary as Japan passes law allowing combat deployments
- 15Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 16Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees…or are they?
- 17International news | euronews, latest international news
- 18Which European countries offer the most social benefits to migrants?
- 19What the top tweets worldwide are saying about #refugees
- 20[Live] Catalonia: separatists heading for clear win in crucial elections
Latest world news
Russian air strike hits terrorist training camp in Syria, say defence officials
Palestinians barred from visiting Jerusalem’s Old City amid tension
At least 16 die in French floods
Portugal votes in first election since exiting bailout
Catholic synod overshadowed by Church’s ‘homophobia’
Wires > News
- 16:41 CET Argentine ruling party extends presidential vote lead – poll
- 16:14 CET Russian cannot fight Islamic State and support Assad in Syria -…
- 15:44 CET EU and Turkey have struck plan to stem flow of migrants – newspaper
- 15:29 CET EU’s Schulz, Luxembourg want looser deficit rules to cope with…
- 15:17 CET Spain bets on German-style apprentices to fix youth unemployment
- 15:09 CET Thousands protest in Moldova against $1 billion bank fraud
- 14:48 CET Iranian parliamentary panel gives conditional nod to nuclear deal
- 14:40 CET U.S. reports 16 air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq