Big UK companies slow to promote women, but Diageo plc an exception -survey
The BoardWatch data showed that 17.3 percent of directors in the FTSE 100 are now women, barely an increase from the 17.2 percent rate in August last year, the slowest growth since new voluntary targets were set by former Trade Minister Mervyn Davies in 2011.
While 34 percent of all new appointments since March 2012 have gone to women, this failed to make a mark on the total number as there were relatively few new appointments.
"Overall, 2012 showed good progress," said Jane Scott, UK Director of BoardWatch. "But the very latest data reveals a plateau in the last quarter, where the rapid growth seems to have fizzled out," she added.
Davies, who published a review of the issue in 2011 commissioned by the coalition government, set a target that all FTSE 100 companies should have at least 25 percent female board members by 2015.
The debate around boardroom equality intensified in September when the European Union laid out a plan to force companies to have a minimum of 40 percent women on non-executive boards by 2020.
The plan for a quota was subsequently scaled back to an "objective" after facing opposition from Britain and Germany, which could only force firms to pick equally qualified women over men.
So far in Britain, 27 companies of the FTSE 100 have achieved the UK target, with women
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