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Diversity on Boards should be dealt with by businesses

Category: Pro-Opinion, diversity, Government, progression, Business

Diversity on Boards should be dealt with by businesses

Historically, women have been woefully under-represented in the upper echelons of the business world, occupying just 12.5 per cent of FTSE100 board positions in 2011. Following this, a government target of 25 per cent of all company boardroom roles was set for this year, with Lord Davies providing annual reports on progress.

Since this, we have seen considerable progress, with the 2014 report showing that women represent 20.7 per cent of board positions - almost double that of just three years earlier. This is largely due to the rise of positive discrimination in the recruitment for these roles. With an increasing number of companies interested in improving diversity, many have set quotas on the makeup of their management teams.

However, the concept and effectiveness of positive discrimination has been challenged in recent months. Many feel that by commanding CEOs to promote women, merit-based promotions are being diminished. Even worse, some argue that not only does this weaken leadership, it undermines the success of women who have made it to the top on their own.

So how do we improve the current system? As we have seen, the majority of women want to get ahead because they deserve it - not because of their gender. As such, legislative quotas are unlikely to be the most effective system. However, with the increase in publicity surrounding diversity, it is critical that companies continue to utilise voluntary initiatives and understand that most successful boardrooms are often those from the broadest backgrounds.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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