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Fewer Women Directors

19 Nov, 2009

Big business is failing to get more women onto its boards, a new report says.

The Cranfield School of Management's 2009 Female FTSE report shows that, despite much hype and discussion during the last 12 months, the level of women in the top boardrooms in the country is not increasing, and, on some levels, is actually going down.

Last year there were 16 women on the top 100 boards - this year it is down to 15. 25% of all boards are entirely male, and only 37 have more than one women director (down from 39 last year). And although the percentage of women directors in these companies increased slightly from 11.7% to 12.2%, that increase is caused by a reduction in the number of seats rather than an increase in the number of women.

In the light of all the discussion about the involvement - or otherwise - of women in the banking industry, it is interesting to note that the percentage of women on the boards of the five FTSE listed banks dropped from 12% to 9%.

The report also looks at what has happened in Norway and Spain, where there has been legislation to increase the numbers of women on boards, and endorses the Financial Times' call for there to be a voluntary target of 30% women on boards within the next 10 years.

The full text of the report - which is well worth reading - can be accessed using the link below.