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Dec 13, 2012

Corporate directors concerned over lack of women in the boardroom

A recent poll has revealed many senior corporate directors are concerned businesses are not doing enough to promote women onto boards.

The survey was commissioned by Heartwood, a wealth and investment management firm, and it discovered 90% of the senior figures surveyed are concerned by the number of women in senior positions.

The research was conducted at a panel event in London and, despite the considerable concern, 95% of over 70 senior corporate directors said they were against quotas.

The poll also revealed what people believed to be the key roadblocks preventing women getting into the boardroom.

Some 43% said the main obstacle was management perceptions of gender roles and 32% suggested family commitments were behind the lack of women in senior roles.

Lord Mervyn Davies, who hosted the event, said: "The absence of female representation on UK boards has been a huge lost opportunity and it's vital that companies redress the gender imbalance. 

"However we have seen major signs of progress in the last 18 months: 45% of those joining UK boards have been women, and in 50% of cases this is their first appointment. 

"But more needs to be done in order for women to feel confident that they can earn a place on a board." 

He also warned against introducing a quota system: "I believe the introduction of quotas would be a big mistake but we have to maintain the drive for change as there are still far too many companies with very few or no women at the top table."

When respondents were asked what would help change the situation, the three most common answers were: an increased focus on flexible working; more female role-models and a more diverse pool of potential employees.


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