The launch of The Davies Summary Report (the final part of The Davies Review – Women on Boards) on Thursday 29th October 2015 will undoubtedly celebrate the UK achieving the initial 25% target for Women on the Boards of FTSE 100 companies (doubling since 2009).
Furthermore, it will recommend areas of future priority. It is here where it must focus attention on the lack of diversity in the executive pipeline and the need to broaden diversity beyond gender (for instance to areas such social background, ethnicity, age – among others). The Davies Report should flag that the meeting of gender diversity targets in the UK has largely been achieved through Non-Executive Director appointments and the mix effect of less Executive Board positions. Diversity at the executive level remains woefully low (oscillating between 15 and 25 individuals over the last decade) and this must be remedied. In addition, targets for gender diversity will, in all probability, be extended to the FTSE 350.
The body of empirical evidence demonstrating the economic, social and financial benefits of diversity continues to grow.
Boards need a tool to help them address the perceived shortage of board-ready talent. Board Apprentice is a unique tool in the diversity toolkit and an elegantly simple idea: Boards show leadership and commitment to diversity by helping to train the directors of tomorrow by setting aside a seat for education.
Companies can use corporate membership of the scheme to develop top talent and plan for succession. Women and minorities see positive action being taken and role models beginning to be more visible. Host Boards use the hosting experience to increase their focus on the benefits of diversity of thought.
Anthea Simmons, Chair, Board Apprentice UK Steering Committee, says:
“There are many factors in the dearth of women and minorities on UK Boards. Culture, connections and confidence are barriers. Competence and commitment are not. Research has also shown that mentoring is key to the successful introduction of minorities to the board room. The Board Apprentice programme builds a bridge between established incumbents from traditional circles and new, diversifying talent: a win/win for all stakeholders. We call on companies and Government to adopt the Board Apprentice programme to help to develop and deepen the pool of board-ready talent and improve access to the board room.”
Charlotte Valeur, Founder and Chair, Board Apprentice Ltd and Chair, Board Apprentice Global Steering Committee, will be at the launch of The Davies Summary Report at KPMG on Thursday 29th October 2015 as will Anthea Simmons, Chair, Board Apprentice UK Steering Committee and Dowshan Humzah, Executive Ambassador, Board Apprentice.