A 2014 Grant Thornton report, Women in Business form Classroom to Boardroom, finds more leaders warming to a quota system, with 45% of international business leaders supporting quotas — up from 37% just a year ago.
In January 2014, the UK Professional Boards Forum released a report showing that women now make up 20% of FTSE 100 boards, up from 17% early last year. The report suggests that the UK may reach 25% by 2015, a goal set by the Lord Davies Review in 2011.
A progress report on women on boards released in March 2014 by the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills showed that the representation of women on the boards of FTSE 250 companies rose from 12.5% in 2011 to 20.7% in 2014. The report highlighted progress made in placing women on boards and in opening new avenues to leadership positions for women, but also addressed the challenges of reaching the targets set by the original 2011 report of 25% board representation. The report found that only 25% of executive search firms claim a commitment to the code on their websites, and just 12% share data on their success rate in hiring women. The report goes on to recommend creation of a database of board-ready women to share with search firms and boards.
The position as shown on the Professional Boards Forum website in October 2014 is as follows:
FTSE 100 companies
22.8% women directors (up from 12.5%*)
− 27.9% women Non-Executive Directors (up from 15.6%*)
− 8.5% women Executive Directors (up from 5.5%*)
0 all-male boards (down from 21*)
33.3% of board appointments since 1 March 2013 have been women
− 41.1% of new Non-Executive Directors are women
− 12% of new Executive Directors are women
FTSE 250 companies
17.3% women directors (up from 7.8%*)
− 22% women Non-Executive Directors
− 5.1% women Executive Directors
28 (11.6%) all-male boards (down from 52.4%*)
31.2% of board appointments since 1 March 2013 have been women
− 38.8% of new Non-Executive Directors are women
− 5% of new Executive Directors are women
* Women on Boards, February 2011, Lord Davies of Abersoch. Figures relate to 2010.