By Ben Simmons

Lord Davies’ influential report Women on Boards is celebrating its first birthday today.

Originally intended to boost female board representation, the 30% Club state that the report’s initial recommendation of 25% female FTSE 100 board representation falls short of its true potential and that 30% female board representation is entirely possible by the year 2015.

“The acceleration in the pace of change is especially pleasing, with the progress seen over the past twelve months being a dramatic improvement over the preceding three years,” comments Helena Morrissey CBE, CEO of Newton Investment Management and Founder of the 30% Club. “We concur with Cranfield's suggestion that the rate of change is also likely to continue to accelerate as more companies embrace change, and that 30% female representation on FTSE-100 boards is well within reach by 2015.

“There remains more to be done to sustain the current momentum and avert the real threat of an EU-imposed quota and the 30% Club will continue to work with Chairmen, headhunters, investors and companies to build on the progress reported today. Increasingly the debate is moving on from just being focused on boards to developing more senior female executive talent and it’s clear that the development of a sustainable pipeline of women qualified to take on senior executive roles is a priority. We expect this to take time and will need concerted efforts on the part of many. We also anticipate a new impetus from the investment community, who are now recognising the importance of diversity to boardroom effectiveness and who have the power as shareholders to effect change”.

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