On 13 March 2012, Lord Davies published the first annual progress report following the publication, in February last year, of his report, Women on Boards. Lord Davies notes an unprecedented pace of change in the make-up of UK boards of directors and provides the following data compiled as at the end of February: .  

FTSE 100 companies

  • women now account for 15.6% of all directorships (up from 12.5%);
  • 47 female board appointments have been made since February 2011;
  • 27% of all board appointments have been taken up by women (up from 13%); and
  • only 11 all-male boards remain (down from 21).  

FTSE 250 companies

  • women account for 9.6% of all directorships (up from 7.8%);
  • 26% of all board appointments have been taken by women;
  • for the first time, all-male boards are in the minority (112 companies, or 44.8%, down from 52.4%) and
  • 53 female appointments have been made since February 2012.  

Lord Davies recommends, among other things, that over the next year FTSE 350 companies should aim to have boards which comprise at least 25% women.  

The Government has indicated that it does not intend to introduce mandatory quotas at present although, as reported in the March 2012 edition of this publication, the EU is looking at the possibility of taking action in this area.  

Lord Davies’ Report: Women on Boards: March 2012 available at:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/business-law/docs/w/12- p135-women-on-boards-2012.pdf