Last week, the Government released its annual Women on Boards report, which outlines the progress that has been made to increase the presence of women on FTSE 350 boards.
This year marks the report’s fourth year of existence, since Lord Davies recommended in 2011 that UK-listed companies should be aiming for a minimum of 25% female board member representation in FTSE 350 companies by 2015.
The report reveals that today, we stand at 23.5% – showing that we are indeed well on our way to achieving a quarter of female board members by the end of the year. It is truly great to see that across all companies, positive steps are being taken to boost the number of women on UK boards.
However, more can still be done to champion diversity through a mixture of sexes, culture and experience from different disciplines. Regardless of gender, being on a board is a challenging role and organisations need candidates that can contribute new perspectives and participate in informed discussions to deliver greater impact. Specialisation and focused expertise are important but so are soft skills, such as leadership and communication.
When determining the future direction of a company, today’s boards need a mixture of experience, knowledge and personal skills so that they are equipped to successfully manage tough conversations and reach effective resolutions.
Ultimately, increasing the number of women that are represented on the board needs to be a priority for all companies, not just the FTSE 350. I look forward to seeing the progress the nation will have reached by the end 2015!