Many firms claim that it is difficult to find women with the right experience to become directors, but companies are also failing to promote women internally (Photo: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images).


A CHAIR of an influential business organisation has called for new laws to force the businesses to improve their diversity if FTSE 350 companies fail to make faster progress this year.

Charlotte Valuer, the new chair of the Institute of Directors (IoD), has accused that the UK’s biggest companies of lying when they say they cannot find enough female or ethnic minority directors.

In an interview with the Guardian ahead of the International Women’s Day, Valeur criticised large listed business firms as they fail to achieve diversity targets.

“I will be very unpopular with FTSE 100, but I don’t actually mind, because it’s not true that it’s difficult,” she said.

The percentage of women on FTSE 250 boards rose only marginally, from 22.8 per cent to 23.7 per cent, whereas the number of female directors in FTSE 100 firms rose from 27.7 per cent to 29 per cent in the year to June 2018, according to Cranfield University.

Many firms claim that it is difficult to find women with the right experience to become directors, but companies are also failing to promote women internally.