Supermarket chain Morrisons has responded to an independent review by the government by aiming at 30 per cent of its board members being women in the next three years.
A steering group has been created by the retailer to female board level membership up from its current level of 13 per cent and 300 senior women in the business are to receive coaching and mentoring to help them climb the corporate ladder.
Lord Davies of Abersoch today launched the Women on Boards review and has recommended that all FTSE 100 companies should be aiming at a minimum of 25 per cent female board membership by 2015.
Dalton Philips, Morrisons CEO, said: “This will make us a better business and we want to see more women in senior management and on our board.
“As one of the largest employers in the UK, Morrisons believes we should be at the forefront of best practice and are delighted to launch our plans and activities for the next three years. We recognise that we have much to do so we’re setting ourselves tough initial targets to achieve better female representation.”
Women make up around 60 per cent of the total retail workforce but only 13 per cent of female in retail employment hold management positions compared to 25 per cent of men, according to research conducted by skills council Skillsmart last year.
Skillsmart CEO Anne Seaman told Retail Gazette last year that women are often excluded from networking opportunities and men in senior positions often look for younger versions of themselves to promote up the business.
“Currently 18 FTSE 100 companies have no female directors at all and nearly half of all FTSE 250 companies do not have a woman in the boardroom,” Lord Davies said at today’s launch.
“This is not about aiming for a specific figure and is not just about promoting equal opportunities but it is about improving business performance. There is growing evidence to show that diverse boards are better boards, delivering financial out-performance and stock market growth.”