By Max Clarke

All UK listed companies should have to set targets for the number of women in their boardrooms, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has said today.

The CBI statement was in response to a planned review by Lord Davies which is looking into the significant lack of female employees at directorship level in UK companies. Lord Davies, who will present a report on this in February, welcomes the CBI’s view that all firms ought to report on the diversity within their companies in order to ensure that more women are represented at senior board level.

Liz Field, CEO of the Financial Services Skills Council who is involved in a government backed initiative to promote boardroom diversity called ‘Through the Glass Ceiling’ said:

“Britain’s business landscape is changing rapidly with more women going into business, heading up companies and developing significant independent financial might. Companies need to reflect diversity at all levels to effectively service shareholders and need to develop a pool of talent to address these changes.

The CBI’s view will clearly help tackle the issue of under representation of women at senior level in UK businesses, however, a more considered approach would be to judge all employees on personal merit, and not necessarily on gender, race, background or any other extraneous factors. Ultimately the criteria should be based on ability rather than statistics.”