Female execs smash FTSE100 barrier

Link: Female FTSE100 FD quits

Research by Cranfield, released by the DTI this week, revealed that the number of female directorships had risen by 20% this year to 101.

For the first time two companies, AstraZeneca and Marks and Spencer, have four female directors and women comprise a third of their boards. A further nine companies have 20% to 30% female representation on their boards, a steady increase since 1999 when the Female FTSE Index was started.

And 90% of the top 20 companies by market capitalisation have women directors this year, compared to only 40% of the bottom 20 companies by market capitalisation.

However there are still 32 top companies with no women directors at all. And there is still only one female CEO (Marjorie Scardino of Pearson) and one female chairman (Baroness Hogg of 3i).

Professor Susan Vinnicombe, Director of the Centre for Developing Women Business Leaders, said: ‘The increase in the number of women directors this year is very positive. What is particularly pleasing is that 22 companies now have multiple women on their boards. These women can now be seen as individuals as opposed to “the token woman”‘.

Trade secretary Patricia Hewitt said: ‘It is obviously good news that more boards are taking on female directors and drawing on the pool of talent available to them, but this report shows that there is still much more to be done.’

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