Government pushes for equality in the workplace

The government has pledged to make at least half of all new appointees to the boards of public companies to be women by the end parliament.


The government has pledged to make at least half of all new appointees to the boards of public companies to be women by the end parliament.

The government has pledged to make at least half of all new appointees to the boards of public companies to be women by the end parliament.

Business minister Edward Davey and Lynne Featherstone, minister for equalities, announced that Lord Davies of Abersoch will develop a business strategy to increase the number of women on the boards of listed companies in the UK.

Featherstone says: ‘We need to do more to identify and tear down the barriers that prevent women rising to the top in business, and I look forward to working with Lord Davies to make this happen.’

Research from Cranfield University highlights a lack of female directors in Britain’s top businesses, with women making up only 12.2 per cent of directors of the FTSE 100 companies in 2009. The FTSE 250 companies have an even lower proportion of female directors at 7.3 per cent, and nearly half of them do not have any women in the boardroom.

Lord Davies, who is the former chairman of Standard Chartered and a former government minister, has been asked to address the obstacles women face in becoming directors of listed company boards and what action the government and business should take to improve the position.

He comments: ‘While it is essential that the boards of UK companies are meritocratic, the fact that there are only 131 female directors in FTSE 100 companies means that we cannot be using all the skills and talents that make our workforce so competitive. ’

The recommendations are to be made by the end of the year. 

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Women In Business

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