Despite recent progress, fewer than one in 10 of the UK’s biggest companies has a female executive director – involved in managing the company directly, rather than overseeing its management – according to the latest research.
Lord Davies of Abersoch, who published his annual report on UK boardrooms alongside research by Cranfield School of Management at Cranfield University, said that the target he set in 2011 of 25% female directors on the boards of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies by 2015 would be met by the end of this year.
However, although the number of total number of female directors in the UK’s 100 largest companies has almost doubled over four years to 263, just 24 of their executive directors are women.
Only five have female chief executives (CEOs): Liv Garfield at Severn Trent, Carolyn McCall at easyJet, Alison Cooper at Imperial Tobacco, Moya Greene at Royal Mail and Veronique Laury at Kingfisher.
During the past four years, female representation has risen to 23.5%, and only 17 more women need to be appointed to boards by the end of the year to meet the 25% target.
Lord Davies said: “What we have in fact seen taking place is little short of a revolution in boardrooms of FTSE 100 companies.” Vince Cable, the UK government’s business secretary, praised the “enormous progress”, adding that he now believes the UK figure could exceed by a third by 2020.
Female FTSE Report
by Cranfield also concluded that firms needed to look below board level at the “pipeline” of upcoming managers and to encourage a working culture in which meritocracy is nurtured.
Improvement could also happen on FTSE 250 boards. As many as 23 still have no women board members and only 4.6% of executive directors are women.
Rising interest rates, excitement around blockchain use cases and cross-border payments were all hot topics at this year's AFP conference in San Deigo.
On-Demand Treasury Management Solutions continue to gain increased adoption in the US and EMEA regions.
The US dollar and debt yields falling on the North Korea missile test, treasury being a top target for cyber criminals and why treasurers aren't into real-time payments all hit the latest headlines in the world of treasury this week. Don't miss our ten top news stories from around the world.
Treasurers are being expected to do more work with fewer resources than ever before, so it is little wonder that the automation of day-to-day operations was highly discussed on the second day of EuroFinance, the annual treasury event held in Barcelona this week.