Firms quizzed over lack of women

Vince CableThe Business Secretary has written to a number of top companies with all-male boards urging them to appoint women to the top jobs.

Vince Cable asked the seven companies to explain what measures they had taken to increase female representation in the boardroom.

The seven - copper mining firms Antofagasta and Kazakhmys, speciality chemicals company Croda, commodities supplier Glencore, mining group Xstrata, business group Melrose and natural resources firm Vedanta - are the last seven FTSE 100 firms without any women on their board of directors.

Mr Cable said the number of all-male boards in top companies had fallen from 21 in the past two-and-a-half years, adding: "My vision by 2015 is that Britain will not have a single FTSE 100 board without a significant female presence.

"Businesses should be making sure they have the right people around their top table. This is not about equality, this is about good governance and good business.

"The international evidence supports this: diverse boards are better boards benefiting from fresh perspectives, opinions and new ideas which ultimately serve the company's long-term interests."

Mr Cable said frequent travel, and working in remote areas of the world, had been cited as barriers to appointing more women, but he added that successful, modern companies learned to adapt.

"Doing nothing is not an option any more."
Read Full Story