It was reported yesterday that the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has written to the chairmen and chief executives of the seven FTSE 100 companies with all-male boards, urging them to appoint female directors.
His move follows the determination of EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, who warned last year, “I will win the war on quotas”. It’s thanks to her that we will see legislation which will better support talented and experienced women being promoted to company boards.
Commissioner Reding’s hard work last year, has served to make politicians consider their approach on this issue; if they support the idea of mandatory quotas or not this move by Cable shows that they are now, finally taking the issue more seriously.
Companies from the FTSE 100 which have no female representation were been named as: Antofagasta, Glencore, Xstrata, Kazakhmys, Vedanta, Croda, and Melrose. Cable has written letters to all of the above companies and asked them what they plan to do to increase female representation.
Cable says we have seen real progress in the last two-three years and his vision is that Britain will not have a single all male FTSE 100 board by 2015.
But in order to achieve this we must have robust legislation in place which supports the talented women he expects to be promoted, without this it will take time to change mind sets and introduce the concept of women on boards. This could take many years before we see any significant improvement.
As it stands women are still woefully underrepresented and to correct it there must be intervention, which is supported by the business secretary and his colleagues.