Despite the strong business case for gender diversity, the percentage of senior female executives in the UK’s top 100 companies is lower today than in 2007. In 2010, the Government asked Lord Davies of Abersoch to make recommendations on increasing the number of women in the boardroom. His report and subsequent action has boosted the number of women on boards, though principally as non-executives. In our report published last week, the Conservative Women’s Forum tackled the issue of increasing the number of female executive directors. We set out clear steps and policies for companies, the Government and women themselves to fill the executive pipeline of talent.
Last year, McKinsey & Co.’s “Women Matter” study showed the correlation between companies with more women in their senior management and higher financial returns. Other research has found greater gender diversity improves corporate governance, decision-making and connection with market. However, the number of FTSE 100 senior female executives actually fell to 15 per cent last year, lower than in 2007. This may explain why there are only three female CEOs in the FTSE 100.