Women on FTSE Boards
“We believe this is not just FTSE boards – but a major issue on most boards, including subsidiary boards – and never more so than in Financial Services. It is good to see in this article that three of the four women joining boards are from Financial Services – one to a bank and two to insurers. We do not agree with Katherine Innes-Ker that there are “plenty of women available”. This is less about discovery – much more about getting more women into senior executive roles – from where they can move into the non executive arena. Our firm is passionate about getting more women into the non executive director candidate pool; we can do a little but essentially it is up to the women themselves and of course CEOs to help them to progress to this stage. We all want it – but you cannot force it.
Quotas will have the wrong impact. Enforcing quotas at a time when – quite rightly – chairman (and regulators) are being a lot more focused about getting higher quality and more relevant people onto boards, will not do much for the cause. You can only be so imaginative – when the regulator is stipulating such stringent qualification and experience from directors for boards (and for them to get through intensive SIF interviews). We need to encourage CEOs to progress women more into senior executive roles – this helps get the right talent onto the right boards in the future.”
Simon Hearn and Deborah Howard. Board Practice.