FTSE 350 firms edge closer to women on boards target

After years of insufficient representation in the upper echelons of the business world, the government is taking further steps to increase female presence in the boardroom

FTSE 350 firms edge closer to women on boards target

Feminists like Simone Du Beauvoir and Germaine Greer may once have argued that we live in a world of men. But now, thanks to the pioneering efforts of an ever-depleting generation, sisters, it would seem, are doing it for themselves. This fact is seemingly supported by recent measures taken by government ministers to further assist in diversifying the nation’s boardrooms.

Since 2011, companies of the FTSE350 have been working to meet the goal set by business secretary Vince Cable and Lord Davies to increase their female board presence to 25% by 2015. Currently that proportion sits at 20.4% increased from 12.5% in February 2011, meaning only an estimated 60 more appointments need to be made over the next 24 months to meet these targets.

Cable said he was pleased with the progress so far, but stressed the need to keep on track and not lose sight of the end goal. “In the last few years we’ve made great progress in improving boardroom diversity and the momentum has turned,” said the business secretary.

Referring to the UK’s decision to shun quotas, he added: “We’re now on the home stretch and countries across the world are looking at the voluntary approach we’ve taken. We need to show them we can get over the finish line.”

In order to reach his targets, Cable has enlisted the assistance of another awe-inspiring female corporate guru: Member of the Women of Boards steering group, with over 30 years’ experience in the oil, gas and financial services sector, Denise Welsh has been drafted in to provide further guidance as the government pushes over the final hurdle. 

Welsh was similarly positive in her outlook about the ability to meet the expected figures. “I am excited about helping to make even more and believe we will meet our targets providing we keep our focus,” she concluded.

Amy-Louise Roberts
Amy-Louise Roberts

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