Commission to undertake new project on women on boards

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is to look at the under-representation of women on boards later this year.

This project builds on a previous Commission report which found that the appointment of women to FTSE 350-listed non-executive director roles is being held back by selection processes which favour candidates with similar characteristics to existing male-dominated board members.

The focus will be on recruitment practices of corporate companies at board level including the use of head hunters in supporting FTSE 350 companies in filling board level appointments, open advertising of positions and the role of Chairs in ensuring more equal, transparent and open practices. 

The Commission will be building on the review of the voluntary code of conduct  for search companies carried out for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) which is due to be published shortly.

EHRC Commissioner, Laura Carstensen said:

“Research shows that diverse boards produce better performance and many companies recognise this. However, there is still much more to be done to improve the representation of women at board level.

“The aim of this project is to help companies do more to open up the field of board appointments which will help them achieve better results for their company by widening the talent pool. We look forward to working with BIS to shape the project to ensure it’s effective in tackling this issue.”

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