Lord Davies has recently published his second annual progress report into the number of women on the boards of UK FTSE companies.

In his original report of February 2011, Lord Davies recommended a target of 25% female representation on the boards of UK FTSE 100 companies to be implemented by 2015.

For the second year running, Lord Davies has reported that a growing number of women have been appointed to the boards of UK FTSE companies. As at 1st March 2013, women accounted for:

  • 17.3% of FTSE 100 board positions compared to 12.5% in February 2011 and 15.6% in 2012; and
  • 13.5% of FTSE 250 board positions compared to 7.8% in February 2011 and 9.6% in 2012.

Commenting on the progress, Lord Davies said “This has never been a hard sell. Companies see that having more women at their top table makes good business sense, especially if we are operating in a global market. We’ve come a long way over the last two years but we must not get complacent and take the foot off the gas.’

However, despite significant progress since 2011, the pace of change has slowed. Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has voiced his concerns that the targets of 25% of female representation on FTSE boards may not be reached. He said: “‘¦Government continues to believe that a voluntary led approach is the best way forward’¦[the] report also serves as a timely reminder to business that quotas are still a real possibility if we do not meet the 25% target of women on boards of FTSE 100 companies by 2015’.

Lord Davies has also urged companies not to rest “on their laurels and think the job is done’ and to maintain their focus on boardroom diversity.

For legal advice on making new appointments at board level, or for general advice on issuing shares, shareholder rights or shareholders agreements, please do not hesitate to contact one of our business lawyers.