How female directors move the market

UK sharemarket responses to female director appointments illustrate the social attitudes suppressing female executive representation. But the UK experience also raises questions about the best ways to address the problem.

It is well known that women are under-represented on boards of directors. In the UK, the latest Female FTSE Board Report notes that only 15 per cent of FTSE 100 company board seats are occupied by female directors: 6.6 per cent executives and 22.4 per cent non-executives. This is a rise from an apparent plateau over the previous three years, and may be related to the attention surrounding publication of the Davies Report on the position of women on corporate boards in March 2011, which recommended that companies should more than double their numbers of female directors by 2015.

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