Women gain seats in Britain's corporate boardrooms - government report

Mon Oct 7, 2013 1:05am BST

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(Reuters) - The number of women directors who now sit on the boards of Britain's biggest companies has risen, a government report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills showed.

The latest figures for "Women on Boards" showed the number of female directors at FTSE-100 companies had risen to 19 percent from 12.5 percent since its inception in 2011 when the study by former British Trade Minister Lord Davies was first published.

The report by Lord Davies recommends that boards of the FTSE 350 list of Britain's biggest companies aim for a minimum of 25 percent female representation by 2015.

According to the study, FTSE-100 companies need to appoint 66 more female directors in the next two years to meet Lord Davies target.

Meanwhile, the report showed that the number of all male boards on the FTSE-100 index had fallen to 6 companies down from 21 companies in 2010, according to Professional Boards Forum BoardWatch, which tracks the appointments of women to UK company boards.

In the FTSE-250, the proportion of female board members has risen to 14.9 percent from 7.8 percent in 2010 and 13.8 percent reported in May this year. However, the number of female executive directors fell to 5.4 percent from 5.7 percent reported in May 2013.

"...Appointing more women as non executive directors is not an end in itself. This is about more talented women getting executive experience, so that they will not only advise, but run this country's great companies," Business Secretary, Vince Cable of the British government said in a statement.

(Reporting by Tasim Zahid in Bangalore; Editing by Diane Craft)

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