A year on from the publication of the Lord Davies report on women on boards, firms have made a conscious effort to increase the number of senior women. So far, however, there is still a way to go to achieve the aim of 25% women board members by 2015.

Board Watch recently reported that the percentage of female board directors of FTSE 100 companies has risen from 12.5% in 2010 to currently 15%. 26% of new board appointments to FTSE 100 companies made since last March were women.

Carmen Watson, Managing Director of Pertemps Network Group, said, “Progress has been made to increase the number of women on boards since the publication of the Lord Davies report. Companies in the FTSE 100 in particular have made marked improvement but this success should be taking place at companies of all sizes. The danger, however, is that if there are too many artificial means of attaining this goal, it could be counterproductive and will do a disservice to the many talented women already working in senior positions.

“Aside from merely focusing on the number of women on boards, we will be able to make further progress if we are able to obtain a deeper understanding of the issues and cultures within boardrooms. There is still a level of unconscious bias that takes place among senior decision makers that can affect the recruitment of women in senior positions. In addition, communication should be rolled out internally through all departments to embrace the benefits of a more diverse workforce. Buy-in on such themes should be company-wide if we are to promote a continued pipeline of female talent in the future.”