According to a progress report published by the Cranfield School of Management, in the six months since Lord Davies launched his Women on Boards report, only 33 FTSE 100 companies have set themselves targets for the number of women they aim to have on their boards. Of these 33, only ten have set themselves targets of greater than a 10% increase. During the same period, 21 women have been appointed to board positions out of a possible 93. This represents 22.5% of all new appointments, but this remains short of the 33% recommended in the report.
The Davies report also recommended that FTSE 100 boards should aim for a minimum of 25% female board member representation by 2015. According to Cranfield's report, in the FTSE 100, the number of women holding board directorships on 1 September 2011 was 155 out of a total of 1,092 directorships, which is 14.2%. This is up from the 12.5% published in the Female FTSE report from Cranfield in December 2010, so progress has been made.
Following the same theme, this week has also seen the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) announce its decision to amend the UK Corporate Governance Code to strengthen the principle on boardroom diversity, which was first introduced into the Code in June 2010. The amendments will require listed companies to report annually on their boardroom diversity policy, including gender, and on any measurable objectives that the board has set for implementing the policy and the progress it had made in achieving the objectives. The FRC will also update the Code to include the diversity of the board, including gender, as one of the factors to be considered when evaluating its effectiveness. The FRC has stated that the new provisions on diversity will apply to financial years beginning on or after 1 October 2012. However, the FRC strongly encourages all companies voluntarily to apply and report on the diversity additions to the Code with immediate effect.