We have not been alone in humming and hawing about the continuing disparity between the numbers of men and women undertaking MBAs internationally, but one of the world’s most highly regarded business schools has now placed a number on its aspirations to see more women succeed.
Statutory guidance published two weeks ago by the Legal Services Board, which oversees the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales, will require law firms and barristers’ chamabers to reveal information about the diversity and socioeconomic background of their staff.
On July 6, the Financial Times publishes the next Women at the Top page as part of its flagship project on female business leadership.
More than 80 per cent of high-flying women questioned in a new survey believe there is anti-female bias in appointments to company boards – but most oppose the introduction of quotas.
The recent proposals by Michel Barnier, the European commissioner for internal markets, to impose a quota requiring Europe’s banks to have one-third women on their boards should come as no surprise.
The continuing preponderance of men enrolling in MBA courses has been the subject of much debate, most recently in the Financial Times. What may be less well known is that the size of the gender gap differs markedly between countries.
For the past five years, women have outnumbered men in worldwide university enrolments and graduation rates.
Two things stood out from my recent video interview* with Laurence Parisot, head of Medef, the French employers’ federation: one frivolous, one deadly serious. The first was that Parisot said that, aged nine, she had hoped to be “number one” in water-skiing (and, less surprisingly, in business or politics). The second was her equation of misogyny with racism.
The Professional Boards Forum has launched “BoardWatch” to track progress against the targets set down in Lord Davies’ report into the number of women on FTSE 100 boards. Drawing on data provided by BoardEx, a business networking service, BoardWatch will report monthly figures.
In the first of these reports, 31 per cent of new directors appointed to the boards of the UK’s largest 100 listed companies since March 1 are women. This has inched up the total percentage of women directors to 13.4 per cent (from 12.5 per cent at end-2010) and reduced the number of “stag” or all-male boards to 14 from 21.
As companies strive to meet targets – and, in a few countries, mandatory quotas – for women on corporate boards, one of the hardest myths to dispel is the lack of supply.