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Calls for greater commitment to women in the workplace

At an event to launch Cranfield University School of Management’s annual Female FTSE report, Women and Equalities Minister Maria Miller has outlined why promoting women at all levels of the workforce is so vital to the UK’s economic future.

She argued that there is a clear business argument for ensuring gender diversity, and that it was only through a cultural shift, rather than imposed European quotas and “tokenism” that a real difference will be made.

Cranfield’s latest figures show that the country is still on track to meet Lord Davies’ recommended target of 25% female representation on the executive boards of FTSE 100 companies by 2015.

Women now account for 17.3% of directors of FTSE 100 companies, compared to 12.5% two years ago. Only six all-male Boards remain (down from 21 two years ago). Women now make up 13.3% of FTSE 250 boards, up from 9.4% last year.

Lord Davies’s second annual progress report into Women on Boards has also recently been published. The report shows that progress has been made with greater female representation in the boardroom since his review was launched in 2011. And most importantly, the UK’s top companies are recognising the benefits that having a diverse board can bring to their business.

In his report, Lord Davies makes a special request for Chairs to review their targets for 2015, and encourages those companies that have not yet set targets to do so. He also urges FTSE 350 Chief Executives to set out, by the end of September 2013, the percentage of women they aim to have on their Executive Committees and in Senior Management levels within their organisations in 2015.

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