Cranfield Female FTSE Board Report measures the rate of female appointments to FTSE 100 boards annually.
Dr Ruth Sealy, one of the authors of the report, said that Lord Davies’ recommendation of 25% women on FTSE 100 boards by 2015 has been useful, but only if the rate of new appointments going to women picks up promptly.
Appointing more women on boards
Businesses can take steps to make sure that there are consistently highly-qualified women in the running for board appointments. There’s much more to directorship than just a ‘power suit’, so companies must be priming their most talented female employees to take on executive positions through tailored guidance, coaching and training.
Certain companies have taken stock of this, and are ensuring that women are moving up the ranks through such initiatives.
Mentoring for graduates
Royal Mail Group – a business whose board is comprised of one-third women including a female CEO - matches participants on its graduate schemes with a mentor from their first day on the job. Graduates are also offered development opportunities off-the-clock to supplement the work they do.
Financial services provider Citi has initiatives to develop and nurture women’s talent at multiple levels. One such scheme is Coaching for Success, a development programme meant for mid-level female employees and delivered through workshops, one-on-one coaching and networking opportunities. The programme “helps improve retention, increase promotion and support greater internal mobility,” Xanic Jones, diversity specialist for EMEA at Citi, told The Raconteur.
Appointing women to directorship level
If FTSE 100 companies increase the number of women in their boardrooms over coming years, they must continue recruiting highly competent women to directorship level. By supporting female employees and developing their talent, companies can ensure that there will always be qualified, experienced women up for the challenge.