FTSE 100’s All-Male Boards Urged by Cable to Add Women

U.K. Business Secretary Vince Cable wrote to the chairmen and chief executive officers of the seven FTSE 100 companies without women on their boards to challenge them about what action they’re taking to recruit them.

Cable wrote following Randgold Resources Ltd’s Jan. 28 announcement that it had appointed Jeanine Mabunda Lioko as a non-executive director. The only companies in the U.K.’s benchmark index with all-male boards are Antofagasta Plc, Croda International Plc, Glencore International Plc, Xstrata Plc, Kazakhmys Plc, Melrose Industries Plc and Vedanta Resources Plc, Cable’s office said.

“My vision by 2015 is that Britain will not have a single FTSE 100 board without a significant female presence,” Cable said in an e-mailed statement today. “This is not about equality, this is about good governance and good business.”

According to Cable, the number of all-male boards in the FTSE 100 has fallen from 21 in 2010. He said that while some businesses, especially those in mining, had “unique challenges” in diversifying their boards, partly because of the frequent travel and project work involved, companies have to take action.

The business secretary appointed women to half of the six positions on the advisory board of the government’s new business bank on Jan. 22.

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