The European Commission’s consultation on redressing the gender imbalance in company decision-making closed on 28 May 2012. The consultation could result in EU-level measures to enhance female participation in economic decision-making, including the possible introduction of quotas. The UK government has opposed the introduction of quotas in its response to the consultation.
In the UK, momentum on this issue has continued to grow since the publication of the Davies Report in February 2011 and institutional investors are increasingly showing an interest as to what progress is being made.
Our briefing examines the practical steps companies can take to improve female representation at board level, looking in particular at the relevant provisions in the Equality Act 2010.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has this week published a report produced by Cranfield University on the board appointment process. The EHRC commissioned the report in October 2011 to help identify good practice in the executive search sector, in light of the recommendations in the Davies Report.
The report is based on research carried out through a review of literature available on the board appointment process, the role of executive search agencies and gender-related obstacles in the appointment process and also through interviews with consultants from ten leading executive search agencies. All of the executive search agencies involved are signatories to the headhunters’ voluntary Code of Conduct published last summer (see corporate e-bulletin 2011/22 for more details).
The report, Gender Diversity on Boards: The Appointment Process and the Role of Executive Search Firms, is available from the EHRC website.