The number of women on FTSE 100 executive committees has soared by 40% over
the last year.
Cranfield School of Management’s 2007 Female FTSE research also reveals that
the number of directorships held by females increased from 117 in 2006 to 123
The proportion of women among new appointments has increased over the last
year with 20% of new FTSE 100 appointments going to women.
The figures are the highest since Cranfield began the study in 2000.
Sainsbury’s has come first in Cranfield’s Female FTSE Index of companies with
the highest percentage of female board directors include first place, with three
female NEDS making up 30% of its board.
The supermarket chain is closely followed by Astrazeneca, British Airways and
ITV, all with three NEDS but slightly larger boards with women accounting for
In the month following the survey, British American Tobacco made two female
director appointments, ranking it equal to Sainsbury’s with 30% female
composition on its board.
Report co-author Ruth Sealy from Cranfield School of Management said the
increase was encouraging, but needs to be built on: ‘Not only is there a
substantial increase in the number of women at executive committee level, women
are also employed in an increasing variety of roles on these committees.
‘This increase brings a considerable addition to the talent pool and it will
be interesting to monitor how long it takes for these women to emerge from the
pipeline and into female executive director roles,’ said Sealy.
Co-author Dr Val Singh said the value of having women in senior positions
must not be underestimated: ‘If companies grow their own talent, thereby
increasing the range of perspectives, behaviours and solutions available at the
top, this will also provide role models and inspiration to women lower down,
helping retention and attracting the best new talent.’
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