Bloomberg News

Cameron Urges Companies to Do More on Naming Women to Boards

October 12, 2011

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister David Cameron called on U.K. companies to speed up moves to appoint more female directors, as a progress report showed they’re falling short of a target set by a government-appointed panel.

Women accounted for 22.5 percent of board appointments made by companies in the FTSE 250 index since the committee called in February for a third of all new directors to be female, according to the report published today by Cranfield University. Of 93 board appointments, 21 were women.

“I want more to see more companies setting out their plans for women on boards and driving this forward,” Cameron said in a statement issued by his office in London today. “Important steps forward have been made. But there is still a long way to go to encourage the best to rise to the top of industry, regardless of their background or gender.”

The review, led by Mervyn Davies, the ex-chairman of Standard Chartered Plc, recommended that companies in the benchmark FTSE 100 index double the proportion of women on their boards to 25 percent. Shareholders should hold companies to account if they fail to appoint more women, it said.

Britain’s accounting regulator, the Financial Reporting Council, said yesterday it will require companies to report each year what steps have been taken to implement their boardroom- diversity policies and explain failures to comply.

--Editors: Andrew Atkinson, Fergal O’Brien

To contact the reporter on this story: Eddie Buckle in London at ebuckle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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