According to the recent report Women on Boards, Voluntary Code for Executive Search firms, The business case for increasing the number of women on corporate boards has been widely articulated and is clear. Since the launch of Lord Davies’s original report there has been a step change in the perception and commitment of gaining more diversity on FTSE 350 boards.
The report quotes “In January 2014 women accounted for 20.4% of corporate board members of FTSE 100 companies. This continued the positive trend and was up from 19% in 2013, 12.4% in 2010 and 9.4% in 2004. Although the pace of change has increased, and current trends suggest the target of 25% by 2015 set out by Lord Davies in his 2011 report will be achieved we can not be complacent and assume further progress will be made without further considered focus”.
The FTSE 250 has also seen a positive increase in the number of women taking board positions. In January 2014 15.1% of corporate board positions were held by women compared to only 7.8% in 2010.
The Voluntary Code for Executive Search Firms was created to ensure executive search firms were supporting FTSE 350 companies to create more diverse boards and covered the relevant search criteria and processes. The code has played its part in continuing to progress the appointment of women into board positions.
It has had varied success in its implementation. Some search firms are taking it seriously with others less so.
Download the report and read through the recommendations for further action for Executive Search Firms.