Firms picking first-timers for non-exec roles

Marion Dakers
THE POOL of recruits for non-executive directorships (NEDs) is getting wider, according to new stats.

Around 47 per cent of first-time NED appointments to FTSE 350 companies last year were women, up from just 11 per cent five years ago.

Korn Ferry Whitehead Mann, the recruitment firm that conducted the research, said female NEDs were being hired in all sectors including traditionally male-dominated industries such as mining.

Lord Davies told Britain’s biggest firms in 2011 to fill one in four board seats with women by 2015 or face mandatory quotas. By March of this year, around 17.3 per cent of directors were female, though the Professional Boards Forum has warned that progress has slowed.

And 48 per cent of new NEDs last year were first-timers, compared to 41 per cent in 2007. However, the number of non-executive hires fell from 466 to 402, Korn Ferry said.