Almost half of new boardroom vacancies filled by women
WOMEN have filled almost half the vacancies for directors at top UK firms in the past six months, Downing Street said yesterday, as it emerged Britain is leading opposition to an EU-wide quota.
• 17.3 per cent of FTSE 100 board members are female - up almost 5% on last year
• Downing Street leading opposition to EU quota of 40% by 2020
• Open letter by Vince Cable co-signed by eight other EU ministers
Prime Minister David Cameron’s official spokesman said Brussels should not dictate legal limits and claimed efforts to
encourage a voluntary shift in the UK were proving successful.
The boards of FTSE 100 companies were now 17.3 per cent
female, he told reporters, up from 12.5 per cent in February 2011, when an independent report warned that a lack of women was damaging firms.
In that report, former business minister Lord Davies recommended that quotas should be imposed if firms failed to bring the proportion up to at least a quarter by 2015.
Mr Cameron has complained male-dominated boardrooms were “failing our economy” and promised to learn lessons from countries with better records.
But in a leaked letter, Business Secretary Vince Cable reportedly warned EC president JoséManuel Barroso that there was widespread opposition to EU legislation.
It was signed by a sufficient number of his counterparts from other EU states to suggest any move to impose a minimum could be rejected under the EU’s complex voting system.
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