Widen non-exec gene pool by recruiting from other sectors

Chief executives in the public and voluntary sectors could become vital
pieces of DNA in the boardroom following the call for companies to "widen
the gene pool" of their non-executive directors.

Among the sweeping reforms proposed in the Higgs review is the
recommendation for companies to appoint senior figures from outside the private
sector as non-executive directors.

It proposes that a list of 100 approved candidates should be drawn up as a
pilot scheme, for companies to recruit from.

Most of the boardrooms in the City are occupied by ageing white businessmen,
who were appointed through personal contacts, claims the review. Women only
make up 6 per cent of non-executive posts and ethnic minorities a mere 1 per

A key aim of the review is to bring in a broader mix of skills and
experience that is lacking in boardrooms.

The Association of Chief Executives in Voluntary Organisations (Acevo) is
working with head hunters to draw up the list of potential non-executives,
which will be submitted to Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt in May.
Appointments are expected to start in the summer.

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