Women on Corporate Boards of Directors
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Women on Corporate Boards of Directors

International Research and Practice

Edited by Susan Vinnicombe, Val Singh, Ronald J. Burke, Diana Bilimoria and Morten Huse

This important new book addresses the growing international interest in women on corporate boards of directors.
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Chapter 3: The Pipeline to the Board Finally Opens: Women’s Progress on FTSE 100 Boards in the UK

Ruth Sealy, Susan Vinnicombe and Val Singh


3. The pipeline to the board finally opens: women’s progress on FTSE 100 boards in the UK Ruth Sealy, Susan Vinnicombe and Val Singh INTRODUCTION Since 1999 the International Centre for Women Leaders at Cranfield School of Management has been monitoring the organizational board demographics and composition of the top FTSE 100 companies in the UK. Through nine successive annual reports, the Female FTSE Report has benchmarked the FTSE 100 boards and in more recent years looked at the FTSE 250 (that is: F101–350) and Executive Committee demographics for FTSE 100 and 250, tracking the progress of senior women in these large corporations. The reports have seen a slow but steady progression on most of the indices and 2007 saw some high-water marks in women’s advancement onto these boards. THE POSITION OF WOMEN ON FTSE 100 BOARDS There are now 100 women occupying 123 directorships on FTSE 100 boards, making 11 per cent of total FTSE 100 directorships. In 2007, women constituted 20 per cent of all new board positions – the highest level ever monitored. Thirty women were appointed, of whom five had previously not held FTSE 100 directorships. The number of female non-executive directorships (NED) is at its highest level ever, at 110, up from just 60 in 2000. However, the one figure that has not substantially altered since 2000 is the number of female executive directors, which in 2007 was 3.6 per cent, just 13 women out of 362 seats (see Table 3.1). These figures need...

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