More women are reaching the boardroom

Women now make up a quarter of the board in one in five leading British companies

Women make up at least a quarter of the boardroom in one in five leading British companies – reaching the government’s target three years ahead of the 2015 deadline.

Only eight all-male boards remain, mainly made up of mining companies. This is a decline from the 21 all-male boardrooms noted by former trade minister Lord Davis in February of last year.

In recent months almost 45 per cent of all new board-level appointments have gone to women, such as Miranda Curtis at Marks and Spencer and Diana Layfield of temporary power group Aggreko.

Overall 16.7 per cent of FTSE 100 board seats are held by women, and another 91 seats must go to women in order to reach the 25 per cent target for 2015.

Elin Hurvenes, founder of The Professional Boards Forum, says: ‘The figures contradict recent reports that chairmen only recruit mirror images of themselves.

‘It also puts to rest the argument that board-ready women don’t exist. UK chairmen are doing a good job.’

The drinks company Diageo has the most women in the boardroom, with 44 per cent of directors being female.

Burberry and Pearson, both led by women, are second and third, with 38 per cent and 33 per cent female representation.

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