The Davies Review Into Women in the Boardroom

The Davies Review into Women on Boards has released its report and recommendations.

You can Download the Davies Review – Women on Boards Report here

Read the Recommendations here

Why is the Davies Review needed?

Only 12.2% of directors of FTSE 100 companies are women…

Women are 51% of the UK population and 46% of the economically active workforce; they are responsible for the bulk of consumer buying decisions and consistently outperform their male counterparts in education.

However, research from Cranfield University has highlighted a lack of female directors in Britain’s top businesses, with women making up only 12.2% of directors of the FTSE 100 companies in 2009. The FTSE 250 companies have an even lower proportion of female directors at 7.3%, and nearly half of them do not have any women in the boardroom.

While UK boards must be meritocratic, the low proportion of women holding directorships suggests British business is not using all of the skills and talents of the workforce effectively and women are being denied the opportunity to contribute fully to the UK economy.

What is the Government’s commitment to Women on Boards?

The UK Government announced a new aspiration that by the end of the Parliament, at least half of all new appointees being made to the boards of public bodies will be women.

What is the business case?

The business case for increasing the number of women on boards is clear. Evidence suggests that companies with a strong female representation at board and top management level perform better than those without and that gender diverse boards have a positive impact on performance, being better able to understand their customers and stakeholders and benefit from fresh perspectives, new ideas, vigorous challenge and broad experience which in turn lead to better decision making.

Lord Davies of Abersoch said:

“While it is essential that the boards of UK companies are meritocratic, the fact that there are only 131 female directors in FTSE 100 companies means that we cannot be using all the skills and talents that make our workforce so competitive.

I am looking forward to leading this work and hearing the views of those with an interest in this area. I hope to help more women to rise to the top of their professions and become our business leaders of the future.”

What will the 2011 Davies Review into Women cover?

Lord Davies of Abersoch, the former chairman of Standard Chartered PLC and a former Government minister. The terms of reference for Mervyn Davies Review are:

  • To consider options for promoting gender equality on the Boards of listed companies. In doing so to consider the obstacles to women becoming directors of listed company boards including looking at existing research about women on listed company boards and recent developments in international practice and to make proposals on what action should be taken to improve the position.
  • It should involve interested parties including Board members, executive search firms, investors and other interested parties in considering proposals for change.
  • The business strategy will be presented jointly to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Minister for Women and Equalities. The business strategy should deliver a set of recommendations with supporting material outlining the thinking behind the recommendations and the views of key interested parties.

The Davies Review and Your Loss

Authors of Your Loss, Christina Ioannidis and Nicola Walther have submitted materials to the review process including a financial attrition model that calculates the cost to business of losing female talent and not having diverse boards.

For more news about issues relating to the Davies Review, follow our blog.