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More women on boards than ever before, but boardroom still skewed in favour of men

News: Lord Davies sets bold diversity target for 2020.

By Ellie Burns

There are more women on FTSE 350 boards than ever before, with female board representation doubling since 2011 and over 550 female appointments to board level in just over 4 years.

In what Lord Davies calls ‘truly amazing progress’, his ‘Women on boards: 5 year summary’ final report also celebrated the fact that 25% of UK FTSE 100 board positions are filled by women – a target he set in 2011.

Lord Davies said: "Looking back to 2011, I could not have predicted British business would have embraced the Women on Boards agenda as they have, or indeed that the 25% target would have been achieved 6 months ahead of schedule."

Championing equality in business, Lord Davies was quick to issue recommendations to further equality in the workplace. Setting a bold, new target, Lord Davies recommends FTSE 350 boards having 33% female representation by 2020 – around 350 more women in top positions.

Cisco UK&I CTO Alison Vincent, a recent participant in CBR’s women in tech series, welcomed the Lord Davies’ final report but admitted that there is still some way to go in the fight for equality. She said:

"Today’s report by Lord Davies reflects a positive shift in the gender ratio of women on boards. While there’s no doubt that the current landscape is still skewed in favour of men, things are improving as female role models emerge for the next generation of workers.

"However, there is still some way to go as we look to increase this ratio, particularly in the tech industry.

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"Therefore we welcome Lord Davies’ call to raise the bar further to 33% of the make-up of boards in the FTSE 350 by 2020. To achieve this, companies must make it a focus right from the start of the recruitment process and not just in relation to gender, but to ensure diversity across the business."

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