General Article Women on boards

Topic Selected: Gender Equality
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Executive summary

In 2010, women made up only 12.5% of the members of the corporate boards of FTSE 100 companies. This was up from 9.4% in 2004. But the rate of increase is too slow.
The business case for increasing the number of women on corporate boards is clear. Women are successful at university and in their early careers, but attrition rates increase as they progress through an organisation. When women are so under-represented on corporate boards, companies are missing out, as they are unable to draw from the widest possible range of talent. Evidence suggests that companies with a strong female representation at board and top management level perform better than those without1 and that gender-diverse boards have a positive impact on performance. It is clear that boards make better decisions where a range of voices, drawing on different life experiences, can be heard. That mix of voices must include women.
The importance of improving the gender balance of corpora

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