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Circumvent the Glass Ceiling

Comment 15th July 2010

The board of directors of every public limited company should consist of fifty percent plus one women. In practice this could mean that, regardless of how many directors there were, a quorum would consist of a stated number of directors (minumum three) of which fifty percent plus one would be women. For such purposes a woman would be defined as someone considered to be such by twelve other women selected at random.

Why does this matter?

Both by anedotal evidence and from a glance at the annual reports of leading companies, women are under-represented in the ranks of senior management of business. Rather than bogging the legal system down with attempts to control pay and promotion, Companies Legislation should ensure that women are fully represented in the governing layer of companies, with the women directors having a built-in majority of at least one. Such boards of directors would then be in the best position to decide what other measures were needed to ensure wider participation of women in other parts of their respective companies, while retaining their responsibility for the prosperity of the company as a whole.

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