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Rise in number of women in the boardroom – study

The findings were the result of an academic study conducted by Cranfield University School of Management, in association with the Financial Reporting Council, the Government Equalities office and the department for business innovation and skills.

In the 40-page report, Women on Boards, financial services companies were cited as having made good progress in corporate governance and management by having more female representation at the most senior level.

Since Lord Davies produced a report on diversity and governance in March 2011, the study found that female-held directorships on FTSE 100 boards had increased to 18.9 per cent and to 14.9 per cent on FTSE 250 boards.

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Notable among those boards which did not have any female representation were mining companies and the London Stock Exchange Group.

Anna Sofat, managing director of London-based Addidi Wealth, said: “The financial services industry can benefit hugely by having women on financial companies boards and at all levels.

“At an adviser and investment manager level, too, it is important to have more women involved. Perhaps if there had been during 2007 and 2008 there would have been less risk taken with other people’s money and the whole sales-dominated culture would have been different.”

She added that there was growing diversity among the client base and more women were becoming financially independent and needed advice and products tailored for them so it made sense to have more female financial advisers and wealth managers.

According to a survey by the London School of Economics, 17 out of a total of 101 FTSE companies have women as directors in their boardrooms, this represents 16 per cent.

Key figures:

99 companies in the FTSE 100 address issues of director succession planning

43 companies specify gender in issues of director succession planning

Source: Women on Boards report