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Breaking the glass ceiling

In a joint letter to FTSE 350 companies, Theresa May, Home Secretary, and Business Secretary Vince Cable have set out a strong business case for increasing representation of women in senior positions to at least 25% by 2015.

The letter highlights recent figures which show that companies with more women on their boards were found to out-perform their rivals with a 42% higher return in sales, 66% higher return on invested capital and 53% higher return on equity. This follows Lord Davies’ review, suggesting that companies should set targets to achieve 25% female representation at board level.

The Government’s position is that it will continue to encourage companies to set their own targets to ensure talented women can access top jobs. Recently, the CBI urged the Financial Reporting Council to get on with making changes to the UK’s Corporate Governance Code to boost the number of women on boards, calling for the Code to be revised to require listed companies to report on diversity on a “comply or explain” basis.

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