Women on Boards -Significant Gap Despite Growth Reported by ONS

Blog from Helen Wells, Director, Opportunity Now

The government has released latest statistics on the number of women in the UK’s top boardrooms. Lord Davies and Business secretary Vince Cable welcome the increase, but Helen Wells of Opportunity Now argues need for greater progress at FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and FTSE 350 organisations.

“The latest ONS statistics on boardroom diversity clearly show that the 360 degree business-led approach to increasing the number of women on boards is having an impact. However, there is still significant headway to be made as women only make up 16.7% of FTSE 100 and 10.9% of FTSE 250 board positions.

“Whilst we encourage even more executive search firms to sign up to the Voluntary Code of Conduct and present diverse candidates to FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and FTSE 350 organisations, we urge businesses and stakeholders to continue improving progression routes for talented women into senior positions.

“Moving away from group-think towards fresh thinking at the highest levels will positively impact organisational culture, encourage progression based on merit, provide role models for aspiring junior women and enable organisations to deliver better services.

“It is widely accepted that diverse boards are more effective boards and we need all these strengths if we are to recover our global competitiveness and respond to increasingly diverse markets.”