Cameron to set targets for women in boardrooms

British businesses could be forced to appoint fixed quotas of women at boardroom level

The Government is considering radical new plans to appoint more women to Britain’s boardrooms, claiming we are failing the economy by not exploiting women’s full potential.

Government figures suggest Britain’s slow progress in mobilising more women into our boardrooms is costing us more than £40billion in lost potential each year.

The Prime Minister is due to attend a summit in Stockholm to learn from countries such as Norway and Iceland, which have successfully introduced quotas to boost the number of women in boardrooms.

Mr Camerons says the Nordic-Baltic Summit will generate proposals for Britain on how to help women become entrepreneurs and take up leading positions in business.

‘The evidence is that there is a positive link between women in leadership and business performance,’ he says. ‘If we fail to unlock the potential of women, we’re not only failing those individuals, we’re failing our whole economy.’

Norway was the first country to introduce quotas in 2003, which insists 40 per cent of directors of listed companies are women. Since then the proportion of female directors at FTSE 100 companies has risen from 12.5 per cent to 15 per cent.

According to a government policy paper, if female entrepreneurship in Britain reached the same levels as the US, there would be an extra 600,000 women-owned businesses contributing £42billion to the economy.

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