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FTSE firms 'making progress in tackling boardroom equality'

FTSE firms 'making progress in tackling boardroom equality'

Progress is being made with regard to combating sex discrimination within Britain's biggest companies.

This is according to Lord Davies of Abersoch's second annual review of gender equality following his seminal 2011 Women on Boards report, which has today (April 10th) revealed there are a growing number of females in senior positions as FTSE-listed firms.

The paper noted decision makers increasingly recognise that having an increased female presence in the boardroom brings benefits to "business, the economy and wider society".

Figures collated for the review showed that women now account for 17.3 per cent of all directorships at FTSE 100 organisations - a marked improvement on the total of 10.5 per cent registered in 2010.

In addition, 94 of the 100 companies now have some degree of female representation in their senior management system, with women accounting for 34 per cent of all board appointments made since Lord Davies' original report.

Meanwhile, some 13.2 per cent of board positions at FTSE 250 firms are now held by females, which represents nearly double the figure of 6.7 per cent recorded three years ago.

Between 2008 and 2010, the number of women achieving directorship roles was effectively flat at a level below one percentage point. However, since work to eradicate this issue began, the number of female boardroom appointments has gone up by nearly 50 per cent.

Speaking about his most recent findings, Lord Davies commented: "The onus was firmly placed on business to bring about this necessary change - and I am pleased to say that evidence clearly shows that they have, and are, stepping up and responding."

He went on to say that British business is now "moving to a place where it is unacceptable for the voice of women to be absent from the boardroom".

Business secretary Vince Cable added: "This is not just about equality at the top of our companies. It is about good business sense."

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Posted by Francesca Witney