Willott welcomes historic milestone for women on company boards

June 27, 2014 11:24 AM

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Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central and Minister for Women and Equalities, has welcomed the news that there are no longer any all-male boards amongst the UK's top companies.

Yesterday the mining and commodities trader Glencore appointed Patrice Merrin, a Canadian former mining executive, as an independent non-executive director.

The move comes after years of political pressure. Lord Davies, the former trade minister, set a target in 2011 for 25% female representation at FTSE 100 companies by 2015. At the time, 21 of Britain's top public companies had all-male boards but by March this year Glencore was the last.

Jenny Willott MP said:

"The decision by Glencore to appoint a female director means that the era of all male-boards in FTSE 100 companies is finally over. This is an important step forward and I am pleased that the Coalition Government is at the forefront of promoting equality in the workplace.

"It is imperative that the management of companies reflect the diversity of the population, not only in terms of fairness but because it makes good business sense. There are now more women in work than ever before, women on every board in the FTSE 100 and this Government has introduced shared parental leave and extended flexible working. More progress still needs to be made but I welcome this historic milestone."

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