Cable: Quotas for boards are inappropriate

Elizabeth Fournier
BUSINESS secretary Vince Cable (pictured) yesterday used new data showing an increase in the number of women on UK corporate boards to rail against the idea of mandatory quotas, saying it would be “inappropriate for Europe to impose them”.

A report released by the department of business, innovation and skills yesterday coincided with Cranfield School of Management’s annual survey showing the largest-ever annual increase in the percentage of women on boards in the year since Lord Davies published his 10 recommendations.

“I believe that we are finally seeing a culture change taking place right at the very heart of British business in relation to how women are seen within the workforce,” said Lord Davies yesterday.

The report showed that 17 companies in the FTSE 100 had already reached the target set by Lord Davies of reaching 25 per cent female board representation by 2015, with a further 28 firms close to the goal at between 20-25 per cent.

“This report provides real evidence that business is taking the issue of board diversity seriously and is voluntarily working to bring about the necessary changes. It demonstrates why we do not support the notion of quotas and why we think it would be inappropriate for Europe to impose them,” said Cable.