The Great Debate UK

Lack of women’s voices on FTSE boards unacceptable



Alison Steed is a multi-award winning journalist and commentator on financial issues, and she is also the owner of the personal finance website for women and families The opinions expressed are her own. Thomson Reuters will host an International Women’s Day follow-the-sun live blog on March 8, 2011

The fact that today sees 100 years of International Women’s Day is testament to just how influential this celebration of women’s empowerment around the world is. To think that within the last century women were being abused by the authorities for the belief in their cause – that women should be given the vote in both the UK and U.S. – when now it would seem abhorrent to not allow this. How far we have come.

But the reality is, there is still some way to go. The Lord Davies report into women in the boardroom could ultimately be the biggest fillip to women being given the same voice in the corporate world as they now have in most places in the wider world.

The idea that even though women make up more than half of the population in the UK, yet around half of FTSE 250 companies do not have a single woman on their boards, and just one sixth of FTSE 100 companies have a woman on the board, is not acceptable.