Most of FTSE are ignoring Davies report

Elizabeth Fournier
JUST 33 companies in the UK’s FTSE 100 have set targets for the percentage of women they plan to appoint to their boards, ignoring calls for boardroom equality to be addressed.

Six months after the publication of Lord Mervyn Davies’ government-commissioned report into women on boards, a progress review by the Cranfield School of Management has shown that just a third of firms have targets in place.

Just ten firms are aiming for more than a 10 percentage point increase in female board representation, despite Lord Davies saying FTSE 100 boards should aim for a minimum of 25 per cent women by 2015.

At a Downing Street reception yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the progress that had been made, but said there was still a lot to be done.

Since the Davies Report was published there have been 21 new female appointments to FTSE 100 boards ­– 22.5 per cent of all appointments made. Of these just three are executive positions, with the rest taking non-executive positions.

Women now make up 14.2 per cent of FTSE 100 directors, an increase from 2010’s figure of 12.55 per cent.

The Prime Minister also confirmed yesterday he had written to the FTSE 350 firms that are yet to set out their plans, encouraging them to set goals.

FTSE 250-listed engineer Fenner and bookmaker William Hill both announced yesterday they had hired new female directors to their boards, as research showed 133 FTSE 250 boards now have female-held directorships.

Fenner has made Vanda Murray, former chief executive of the Blick Group, a senior independent director on its board.

Meanwhile William Hill said it had hired Georgina Harvey and Imelda Walsh as non-executive directors.