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Women on boards: Launch of an enhanced code of conduct

It builds on the terms of the standard voluntary code and will also recognise the outstanding efforts of search firms working to build the pipeline of FTSE board directors of the future.

The enhanced voluntary code was drawn up by the search firms themselves working with the Davies Steering Group. It contains ten new provisions, from launching initiatives to support aspiring women to sharing of best practice and running awareness programmes within their own firms.

Under the new provisions, firms will provide evidence to the Davies Steering Group that they have:

  • Supported the appointment of at least four women to FTSE 100/250 boards over the last year;
  • Achieved a proportion of at least 33 per cent female appointments across all their FTSE 100/250 board work;
  • Supported women in achieving their first FTSE 350 board appointment; and
  • Have fully delivered against more qualitative aspects of the Enhanced Code in their daily practices.

The enhanced code requires search firms to submit summary data in an agreed format to the independent Davies Steering Group annually, to confirm they meet the requirements for accreditation under the code.

Vince Cable,  Business Secretary, said: “These firms are crucial to achieving gender diversity in both executive and non-executive roles. Recruiters can best show their commitment to this work by embracing this new enhanced code.

“Now that all FTSE 100 boards have at least one woman serving on them, and all key stakeholders have embraced the gender diversity agenda, we are confident that with sustained and continued action, we will meet the target of 25 per cent women on FTSE 100 boards by 2015.”


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