A new organisation has been launched to promote the appointment of women to board-level positions.
Renew – Register of Executive and Non Executive Women – has been established by Hilarie Owen, founder of the Institute of Leadership to support the development and appointment of female non-executive and executive directors.
Renew aims to encourage women to put themselves forward and encourage companies to actively consider and appoint them to key boardroom roles to offer ‘a new perspective’.
Gender equality is big on business’ and the government’s agenda at the moment, with the national gender pay gap standing at almost 20 per cent across the UK.
The latest figures show that women make up only 3.7 per cent of executive directors and just 11.8 per cent of non-executive directors of the FTSE 100 companies.
Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt recently announced the membership and terms of reference of the Women and Work Commission, which will make recommendations to the Government on tackling the pay gap between men and women.
However, a study by a team at Exeter University found that women should worry less about getting through the ‘glass ceiling’, and prepare themselves for a fall over the ‘glass cliff’.
The study of 300 employees found that successful companies chose male candidates for top jobs, while businesses that were in trouble chose women.
Alex Haslam, who led the research, said women were offered senior posts because they were better at handling business crises. This led to women being given more difficult jobs with a higher chance of failure.