Vince Cable last night welcomed more than 100 women from the business world to a dinner at Lancaster House, in a bid to convince sceptics that top companies are improving the female representation on their boards.
The business secretary’s department says the target of having 25 per cent of FTSE 100 board positions held by women is close to being achieved. The latest figures put female representation at 22.8 per cent, with new data set to be published later this month.
Critics have said that too many of the roles are non-executive positions, and that the UK is failing to hit its self-imposed targets.
Yet Cable remains upbeat. “Outstanding progress has been made since we launched the Davies review in 2011 and it is a mark of what has been achieved to see so many recent appointees to FTSE 100 boardrooms here tonight,” he said.
Attendees included Newton Investment Management chief executive Helena Morrissey, Ingrid Johnson of Old Mutual, and Baroness Neville-Rolfe, who has held non-exec positions at PwC and ITV and is now parliamentary under-secretary at BIS.