News from Cass Business School

A kick up the backside for male board members

Professor Keith Cuthbertson argues for female quotas for FTSE 350 boards.

In his report, which was published last week, Lord Davies of Abersoch called for FTSE 350 companies to appoint more women to their boards with the aim of having 25% representation by 2015. However, failure to impose quotas, in favour of voluntary measures, will render his proposals ineffective according to Professor Keith Cuthbertson.

Women account for only 10% of company directors, 9% of high court judges and 14% of university Vice Chancellors and Professor Cuthbertson believes that the recommendations in Lord Davies' report provide a nudge to the men on boards when what they really need is 'a kick up the backside' in the form of quotas.

One measure in the report that may make a positive impact, according to Professor Cuthbertson, is the introduction of competitive entrance. Currently over 50% of board appointments are via personal friendships, only 4% have formal interviews and only 1% are advertised. A more formal process will increase the chance of increased female representation on boards.

You can hear more from Professor Cuthbertson in this week's Cass Talks. The Cass Talks interviews are an opportunity to hear Cass faculty and prominent alumni give their perspective on current business and finance news stories, global issues affecting the business world and new research coming out of the School. Listen, watch and download Cass Talks and see other Cass academics share their opinions at: www.cass.city.ac.uk/casstalks

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