Gender two steps behind as corporate governance occupies boardrooms

Gender
inequality in the boardroom could be left playing second fiddle as companies
struggle to ensure they comply with the Higgs recommendations and the new
combined code on corporate governance, according to experts.

A
new survey by Deloitte shows that despite 70 per cent of FTSE 350 companies
making changes to their board composition in the past 12 months, there has been
no increase in the number of female board members.

The
report shows that just 3 per cent of executive directors and 8 per cent of non-executive
directors are women.

The
Higgs Report was designed to increase rigour and transparency in the
appointment process of non-executive directors to foster meritocracy in board
rooms.

Rupert
McNeil, partner at Deloitte, said that over the past year, companies have been
focusing on changes to board structure to ensure they comply with the Higgs
recommendations and the combined code.

“Issues
of gender balance have perhaps been less pressing than the need to address
concerns about the independence of non-executive directors,” he said.

By Michael Millar

 

 

 

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