Davies reports the end of all-male boards in the FTSE 100

Lord Davies has published his fourth annual progress report on women on boards.

As at 1 March 2015, women accounted for 23.5% of FTSE 100 and 18% of FTSE 250 board positions, an increase from 20.7% and 15.6% respectively in March 2014 (and an increase from 12.5% and 7.8% respectively in February 2011). There were 23 all-male boards in the FTSE 250, a decrease from 48 last year and 131 in 2011. For the first time, there were no all-male boards in the FTSE 100. Lord Davies notes that in order to reach the target of 25% female board representation by 2015, fewer than 20 new women need to be appointed to FTSE 100 boards in the next nine months.

The report set out areas for improvement and focus in 2015, including:

  • Too few women are executive directors, chairmen or senior independent directors. FTSE 350 companies should encourage internal initiatives to develop their female executive pipeline and share case studies to inspire more junior women.
  • FTSE 350 companies with all-male boards should appoint at least one female director.
  • FTSE 100 companies with less than 25% representation of women on their board should progress towards 25%.
  • FTSE 250 companies should seek to improve meaningful reporting on gender diversity.
  • Investors could consider uniting to develop best practice guidelines.

The Women on Boards: Davies Review Annual Report 2015 is available here.