Women called to task on lack of female execs

Michael Bow
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WOMEN need to take more responsibility for the issue of female under-representation on City boards, a top pressure group warned today.

The Two Percent Club, a national organisation of senior businesswomen, said too much emphasis had been placed on the role of male executives in moves to appoint more women to top corporate positions.

It called on female City staff to advocate more strongly for a shakeup at the top of businesses to boost female representation.

“Too often the search for a solution to this issue is put at the feet of CEOs, chairmen, head-hunters and politicians”, Heather Jackson, founder of the Club said, “...it is time that women also stand up to be counted and become a more visible and active part of this business issue.”

Political leaders, led by Lord Davies, are aiming to get 25 per cent of FTSE 100 board places allocated to female managers by 2015. However, recent figures showed a slowdown in appointments with just 26 per cent of executive roles going to women in the first half of the year.

The Club, which has over 500 members including Financial Ombudsman boss Natalie Ceeney, Ernst & Young’s managing partner for people Liz Bingham and RBS director of corporate services Caroline Rainbird, is launching its first London branch today on the back of regional launches.

The Club said the problem of under-representation was caused by issues in the pipeline of future executive talent rather than in the boardroom, adding it was a wider issue beyond the FTSE 100.

Bingham said: “We need senior women in business to lift as they climb and to encourage young female talent up through their organisations.”