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Nearly half of new FTSE 350 boardroom are women

Matt McAllister

Nearly half (47%) of new appointments to FTSE 350 boardrooms last year were women, according to new figures by the recruitment consultancy Kerry/Whitehead Mann

It marks a marks a big leap from five years ago when the figure was just 11%.

Richard Emerton, managing partner at Korn/Ferry told The Independent this week that against a backdrop of a financial crisis, regulation and technological changes “companies in 2012 have adapted by bringing fresh and new skills to their boards from a more diverse talent pool”.

But while the figures suggest that UK boardrooms are moving towards meeting the recommendations set out by the 2011 Davies Report, not all recent research into women on boards has been so positive.

Women currently make up 17.4% of board members rather than the 25% set out by Lord Davies, while May statistics from the Professional Boards Forum showed that only 12% of directors appointed from March to May were women – down from 50% a year previously.

However, further women have been appointed to FTSE 350 boards since the Professional Boards Forum figures, including Jo Harlow to Sage and Susan Rice to Sainsbury.

Other findings from the latest Kerry/Whitehead Mann show there has been a 7% increase in boardroom positions going to first-time appointees compared to five years ago, and that the number of board members who have lived or worked abroad has grown from 43% to 54% in the same period.

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