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UK government in new bid to increase female board-level representation

The UK government has launched an initiative aimed at increasing the number of women in business leadership positions.

The campaign aims to increase top-level female representation across the entire FTSE 350 to 33% by 2020.

The cry for change comes after the 2016 Female FTSE Board Report revealed progress has slowed in developing a talent pipeline.

The report – compiled by Cranfield University, City University London and Queen Mary University London – revealed only 9.7% of executive directors in the FTSE 100 are women, dropping to 5.6% in the FTSE 250.

The new review will be spearheaded by Dame Helen Alexander, chair of UBM, and Sir Philip Hampton, chair of GlaxoSmithKline.

Minister for women and equalities Nicky Morgan said: “This government has prioritised equality for women, pushing for greater representation in business and providing young women with the role models that inspire them and their career choices. We have already made huge progress - having increased the percentage of women on FTSE 100 boards from 12% to 26%.

“But now is not the time to pat ourselves on the back and say ‘job well done’ - we must be even more ambitious. That’s why I am delighted that Sir Philip and Dame Helen will be heading up such a prestigious team of Britain’s best and brightest leaders to drive this ambition forward.”