An initiative sponsored by BP and MWM Consulting, “Women for Boards” was announced on 23rd September. The scheme aims to address the massive under-representation of women on the boards of Britain’s top companies by providing mentoring by experienced female non-executive directors.
Fewer than 7% of non executive directors across all British quoted companies are women, while 62% of the companies in the FTSE 250 have no women non-executives at all. The aim of the new initiative is to give women experience as non-executives of FTSE 250 and FTSE 350 companies so that they will eventually be in a position to get onto the boards of FTSE100 companies.
While the government has not evidenced any intention to follow Norway in imposing mandatory quotas for female board membership, with companies that do not comply being wound up, businesses are increasingly being challenged to demonstrate diversity at all levels. Women for Boards hopes to make a significant impact by dramatically increasing the pool of experienced female talent available to accept non-executive posts.
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