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8000 women in Europe are ready for boardrooms
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Published on 13-12-12

This week European Business Schools launched a 'Global Board Ready Women' searchable database of women who fulfil the strict criteria for corporate governance as defined by publicly listed companies and are well qualified and ready to go on boards. Universities and organisations that have joined the initiative have already identified more than 8,000 eligible candidates and since its launch earlier this week, the database administrators have been verifying over a hundred applications a day. As of today, 11% of the database is made up of women located in the UK, with 8% being from London.

    Commissioner Viviane Reding

    Commissioner Viviane Reding

    Since Lord Davies’ review and subsequent report, the number of women appointed to the boards of the UK’s top companies has reached unprecedented levels, with women now making up 16.7% of FTSE 100, and 10.9% of FTSE 250 boards, up from 12.5% and 7.8% respectively in 2010.  The recommended target for listed companies in FTSE 100: 25%, by 2015 is applicable to all board members (executives and non-executives). While UK percentages have risen considerably, the highest increase is in non-executive positions which has reached 18.7% while executive positions have remained relatively low at 6.5% and women CEOs at only 6%.

    "We need to use all of our society’s talents to ensure that Europe’s economy takes off. That is why the European Commission has proposed a European law for boosting gender balance in company board rooms," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner. "I often hear the argument that there are not enough qualified women to occupy positions in the boardroom. Today European Business Schools are shattering those myths as well as glass ceilings! The searchable database shows that the qualified women are there. Companies should now make use of this untapped pool of talent."

    The "Global Board Ready Women" searchable database list and forum will be administered by the Financial Times Non-Executive Directors’ Club on the global business platform LinkedIn. All women listed in the database are suitable to be considered for publicly listed company board-level positions and meet a clear set of criteria as developed and defined over the last year and a half by the organization members of the European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative.

    Every application to be part of this database has been formally assessed and reviewed and only those women who meet the criteria were accepted.  Participating Business Schools and Professional organizations have applied the same criteria for their participating Alumnae and Members.

    Notably, all women on the list have at least five years’ experience in one or more of the following roles:

    •       Chair and/or NED of listed/private corporations

    •       CEO, COO, CFO or other C-suite exec/director level in listed/private corporations

    •       Family member and controlling shareholder of boards of large family companies

    •       Director of government agencies

    •       Director of non-profit organisations

    •       Institutional investment community senior professional

    •       Professional firms senior partner serving boards and their committees as clients

    •       Entrepreneur

    For more information

    Message by Viviane Reding on Board ready women

    Eurobarometer survey on gender equality

    Factsheets on gender equality:

    Gender Equality in the European Commission

    Gender Equality in the Member States

    European Commission database on women and men in decision-making

    List of participating universities and organisations

    Related Links

    Last update: 14/12/2012  |Top