link.png FTSE 100s are finally making an effort to recruit more women.← Back

Gender diversity is an issue which is finally attracting increasing attention in the UK. Earlier today, results revealed which FTSE companies have most improved in terms of representation of women on their boards over the past four years. This announcement came during a networking event for women co-hosted by Business secretary Vince Cable and Lord Davies of Abersoch at Barclays.
The top three FTSE 100 companies to have improved gender representation by recruiting more women to their boards are Old Mutual, Aggreko and Glaxosmithkline. Old Mutual has seen the best improvement, as a company who had no women on its board in 2010, and now has almost 40% women, at 38.5%. Patrick O’Sullivan, the chairman of Old Mutual commented: “Old Mutual aims to recruit and retain staff, at all levels, from as wide a background as possible. Our guiding principle is that successful candidates should be the best qualified for that role and for our business to succeed, our culture has to be one of inclusion and opportunity for all our staff.”
A report was published in tandem with these results, entitled “Inspirational Women in Business”, which profiles some of the women working on the boards for the UK’s biggest companies, as well as offering advice on how to succeed.
This is part of an ongoing initiative by the government to encourage boards to hire more women. The FTSE 100 saw the proportion of women increase from 20.7% to 22.8% in the months from March to October 2014, having been recommended to reach a target of 25% by 2015. Vince Cable said this target was “in sight”, however warned that “Businesses must not take their foot off the pedal during the final stretch.”
Whilst there’s still yet much to be done to achieve gender parity, these are promising signs that the UK’s largest companies are starting to recruit more women at a senior level.