With just days to go until the release of the Davies Review on gender equality in the boardrooms of UK companies, more information is coming to light about what will be in the report.
It is believed that Lord Davies will recommend to companies that at least 20 per cent of all directorships are held by women within two years. The weekend papers also quote sources that say the report will look to increase FTSE board positions held by women to 25% by 2015.
While quotas are not expected to be part of the recommendations initially, they may be introduced if stakeholders do not sign up to and implement a code of conduct.
Research by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) also shows that while most managers are against quotas for senior roles, 47 per cent of female managers surveyed said they were in favour.
ILM chief executive Penny de Valk (pictured with Lord Davies) said:
“The imposition of boardroom quotas in the UK would be an admission of failure for leaders. Rather than waiting for external legislation, now is the time for employers to set voluntary targets for female representation at board and senior management level, and hold people accountable for meeting them.”
The authors of Your Loss, a book about why women leave companies believe that targets are important. Christina Ioannidis, speaking from Kuala Lumpur said:
“Without targets, no-one is held accountable. Targets are expected for sales and financial measures, so there is no reason why they can’t also be applied to the make-up of a company’s workforce and the number of women on boards. We know that there is a financial cost to businesses who don’t have a diverse representation of experience at board level. We’re looking forward to the report.”