Sir Philip Hampton, the chair of GSK and formerly of RBS and Sainsbury's, has been named as the new chair of an independent group charged with leading a review of gender diversity on company boards.
Hampton will lead a review which follows on from Lord Davies' report which set a goal for 25 per cent female representation on FTSE 100 company boards.
"The employment rate for women has never been higher and there are now more women on FTSE boards than ever before. But we need to go further, particularly when it comes to paving the way to the executive level," said business secretary Sajid Javid.
"Companies cannot afford to miss out on the skills and talent of the whole population if the UK is going to compete in a fast-moving global economy. This is not just about diversity for diversity’s sake, but about improving performance and productivity."
The review will be expanded to take into account diversity on FTSE 350 companies. Hampton named UBM chair Dame Helen Alexander deputy chair of the review.
"I will focus on improving representation in the executive layer of companies, as well as maintaining the momentum on boards," said Hampton.
"This means looking at the talent pipeline for female executives and emerging non-executive directors to ensure we create opportunities and the right conditions for women to succeed."