Friday 10 July 2015 7:27 am

Women on FTSE boards forecast to reach Lord Davies 25pc target by October

Women are becoming more common in the boardrooms of the UK’s most powerful companies, as new research from executive recruiter Norman Broadbent showed the FTSE 100 companies on track to having one-quarter female boards by the end of the year.

Currently, women make up 23.7 per cent of the companies’ boards, but an average of 32 per cent of new appointments are being made to female directors, and Norman Broadbent forecasted that at the rate new appointments are being made, boards will be 25 per cent female in October.

Female representation on FTSE boards has more than doubled since 2011, when Lord Davies set out a goal of 25 per cent female directors by 2015.

Gender diversity has also increased on FTSE 250 companies’ boards. No particular target has been set out for these, but Norman Broadbent estimated they would reach 25 per cent by 2017.

Krystyna Nowak, the managing director of Norman Broadbent, called the latest figures a testament to the “tremendous effort” being put in by companies to change gender balance:

Not only is gender diversity good for their boards, but good for their businesses and the economy as a whole.  The next challenge is then to ensure that women leaders take on a greater proportion of executive roles.

Currently gender balance skews anew at executive level, with 12 out of 100 finance chiefs women – and only 5 out of 100 chief executives.