Call for more women on company boards

Chairs in a meeting roomAt least four out of ten Directors on Company Boards should be women.

That was the message from the European Parliament last week.

Glenis Willmott, Leader of Labour’s MEPs, who supported the call for greater representation, said:

“The picture at present is extremely dismal.  Less than a fifth of FTSE 100 directors are women, while among FTSE 250 companies, the figure is only 15 per cent.

“It actually makes good business sense to have more women on company boards.  A McKinsey and Company report found companies with gender-balanced executive committees outperformed companies with all male committees, and other evidence from Leeds University Business School showed that having at least one female director on the board appears to cut a company’s chances of going bust by 20% and that having two or three female directors lowered the chances of bankruptcy even further.”

“We must strengthen the EU’s competitiveness and create sustainable growth, and to do that all talents must be fully utilised and women’s voices must be heard as much as men’s when making key economic and commercial decisions.

“Legislation should be a last resort but companies should be in no doubt of our determination to achieve equality.


For more detailed figures on the number of women on the boards of the UK’s leading companies, see Board Watch:



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