The Women on Boards Davies Review Five Year Summary reflects the progress that has been made in increasing the representation of women on boards, particularly in the FTSE 100, over the past five years. From a figure of 12.5% in 2010, women now make up 26.1% of board representation at FTSE 100 level. In addition, there are now only 15 companies with all male boards, all of which are in the FTSE 250. These figures put the UK in sixth place in the international rankings.
However, the Review recognises that work is still needed to make sure that progress is maintained. The Review recommends:
- Continuation of the voluntary, business-led approach to the issue for a further period of five years, to ensure continuing substantive and sustainable improvement of women's representation on FTSE 350 boards;
- The target for women's representation on FTSE 350 boards should be increased to a minimum of 33% to be achieved in the next five years, with increasing numbers of women being appointed to the roles of Chair or Senior Independent Director, or into Executive Director positions.
- The best practice demonstrated at Board level should be extended to improve the representation of women on the Executive Committee and in senior leadership positions in FTSE 350 companies.
- A fresh independent steering body with a new Chair and members should be convened to support businesses in their efforts and to monitor and report on progress.
- Consultation between the steering body and key stakeholders about the recommendations should take place, with further detailed comments at the beginning of 2016.