According to the report the appointment of women to FTSE 350-listed non-executive director roles is being held back by selection processes which ultimately favour candidates with similar characteristics to existing male-dominated board members.
The report, produced by Cranfield School of Management for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, is the first in-depth study into the appointment process to corporate boards and the role of executive search firms. It follows the recent Davies Review which called upon executive search firms to take on a more active role in increasing gender diversity on FTSE boards.
The report reveals that many chairmen and search firms recognise that gender diversity should be increased at board level. Search firms have introduced a voluntary code of conduct and had some success at getting more women on long lists. But when it comes to short-listing and appointing, successful candidates tend to be those who are perceived as ‘fitting in’ with the values, norms and behaviours of existing board members, who are largely men.
You can download and read more about the report here.