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Government reforms (1): Gender politics

girl-board-powerWhat do we already know?

In our March 2011 Newsletter we reported the publication of Lord Davies’ independent review of women on boards. This ‘Davies Report’ identified four key business reasons why companies must take the issue of having a diverse board seriously and made a number of recommendations to address the imbalance of women on boards. Since the Davies Report there have been annual progress reports making further recommendations.

What’s new?

On 29 October 2015, Lord Davies published his final report (available here) on improving the gender balance on British boards. The report shows that women’s representation in the FTSE 100 has more than doubled, exceeding the 2011 target of 25% in less than five years. There are more women on FTSE 350 boards than ever before and there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of all-male boards.

Most impressive is that the UK has emerged as a leader and role model on the international stage for having made such good progress under an entirely voluntary regime: it’s sixth in Europe behind Norway, Sweden, France, Finland and Belgium (many of whom have introduced quota regimes). The UK has also recently endorsed “name blind” recruitment to tackle unconscious bias.

Key points of the report include that:

However, there is still much work to be done and recommendations going forward include:

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Review Solicitiors