Cranfield Report on women in boardrooms is published today

14 March 2012

Financial Skills Partnership says we need women at all levels, not just at the very top

The latest Cranfield Report published today reported that the number of women on the top boards of FTSE 100 companies in the UK has risen from 12.5% last March to a 15.6%, from the 190 appointments made in the FTSE 100 boards, 47 out new appointments were women.

The report, authored by Professor Susan Vinnicombeand Dr Ruth Sealy of the Cranfield School of Management, will give a sixth-monthly update on how UK companies are performing against the targets set by Lord Davies in his review and recommendations last February. He recommended that the proportion of women on FTSE 100 companies’ top boards be increased to a minimum of 25% by 2015.

Liz Field, CEO of the Financial Skills Partnership comments: “While the increase in top board membership is clearly welcome, we believe that a lot more work could be done to help adjust the gender balance throughout company hierarchies, in particular at the level immediately below the one currently reported on.

“Recent research indicates that female participation at this level isactually declining rather than rising, a trend that needs to reversed if we are to ensure a continuous pipeline of female talent. Companies would do well to follow in the footsteps of the most progressive amongst them which - besides introducing better diversity monitoring and tailored development and mentoring programmes for women - are also trying to tackle the most deep-seated causes such as unconscious bias.”

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