In corporate America, female representation on S&P 500 boards is sluggish compared to FTSE 150 companies. The number of women serving as directors for FTSE companies has grown at a "spectacular pace" after a 25% target for female representation on boards was established in 2011, a study by leadership consulting firm Spencer Stuart found.
The Davies Review, a report on board composition led by Lord Mervyn Davies of Abersoch on behalf of the U.K. government, established a target for all FTSE 100 companies to have a minimum of 25% female representation by 2015. The target was met in aggregate in July 2015, although only 43 of the 100 reached the target individually. Still, the Davies Review increased the voluntary target for women's representation on boards of FTSE 350 companies to a minimum of 33% by 2020.
"When women are so under-represented on corporate boards, companies are missing out, as they are unable to draw from the widest possible range of talent," the 2011 Davies Review said. "Evidence suggests that companies with a strong female representation at board and top management level perform better than those without and that gender-diverse boards have a positive impact on performance."