Give women top jobs

In the wake of the European Commission proposals to shift more women into top end jobs, a government review announced today calls for 25% female board representation by 2015.

It’s no revelation that the boardroom is still a male dominated arena but things could be about to change as the government announce radical change to move more women in to top jobs in the UK.

A government review announced today by Lord Davies has set out guidelines for radical change in British boardrooms to ensure that more talented and gifted women can get in to the top jobs in companies across the UK.

Unlike the EU proposal championed by justice commissioner Viviane Reding, which would force companies to employ 30% women in the boardroom by 2015, and 40% by 2020, the UK review stopped short of mandatory quotas but insisted on the implementation of radical change.

‘Over the past 25 years, the number of women in full-time employment has increased by more than a third and there have been many steps towards gender equality in the workplace,’ says Lord Davies. ‘However, there is still a long way to go.’

A recent report by Cranfield School of Management found that women occupy only 12.5% of board positions in leading companies in the FTSE 100, but management consultancy McKinsey found that the top quarter in terms of female representation on the board outperformed male dominated direction by 56% in earnings.

Michel Barnier, commissioner for the internal market and responsible for financial regulation, says: ‘It is generally good to include women in the leadership of companies, not only because that is more just, but because it leads to more balanced decision making.’

Lord Davies argues: ‘This is not about aiming for a specific figure and it is not just about promoting equal opportunities – it is about improving business performance. There is growing evidence to show that diverse boards are better boards.’

Heather Jackson, Founder of the Women’s Business Forum tells Marie Claire: ‘We need to do all we can to ensure companies and their women recognise the value they bring to the board table and what structures are needed for them to get there.

‘Targets are a great start and will get the ball rolling but the hard work starts now, so we meet those targets and the women, businesses and economy of the UK can reap the benefits.’

Do you agree with the proposals or do you think boardroom seats should be allocated to those best suited to the job, regardless of their gender? Let Marie Claire know your thoughts by posting a comment below.

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