The end of October saw the publication of the Davies report of 'Women on Boards.' Though the number of women on boards has almost doubled since the beginning of 2010, the report recommends that now a third of all boardroom positions should be given to women, in pursuit of equality in the workplace.
The Government's aim of having 25% of women on boards by 2015 has not only been met but surpassed; The UK is now in sixth place in international rankings of women on boards, with the countries ahead of us having introduced legislation to push up the numbers. However, there are still 15 companies with no women in their boardrooms at all.
The 30% Club has collaborated closely with the Davies Commission on this report. The Chairwoman, Brenda Trenowden, claims the journey to equality to be far from over, and that continued action is needed if Britain is to sustain these achievements. She claims there to have been a genuine shift in mind-sets across British businesses, with chairmen now convinced of the need for diversity. Investors are key players in this, but Ms Trenowden claims them to be slower on the uptake, failing to vote against re-election of existing chairmen and challenging CEOs. Indeed the investor community has its own diversity challenges.
The next step, according to the 30% Club, is to move down the executive committee level within organisations, and also tackle the FTSE 350 and 250 companies. Tackling the issue at the stem in schools is also advocated. This is no time to be complacent, according to Ms Trenowden, but to ensure the current position is sustainable with continued work.
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