Britain in crisis over number of women in top jobs.

A report in the Financial Times warns that Britain's boardrooms are "in crisis" over their failure to increase the number of women in their ranks and will face quotas is they do not embrace new voluntary targets to double the female representation on boards within four years.

Lord Davies has led a government inquiry on the issue of women in the boardroom and will today recommend that FTSE 100 companies aim for a least 25% of their boards to be made up by women by 2015, while FTSE 350 companies should clearly outline the percentage of women they expect to see on their boards by 2013 and 2015.

However Lord Davies warned that this was the "last chance" corporate Britain would have to force through change itself and said statutory quotas would be brought in if voluntary targets failed to produce the desired results.  He went on to say that all chairmen should announce their aspirational goals for women on boards within the next six months and publish their own targets, and then comply with them or explain why they had not done so.

Half of companies in the FTSE 250 have no women directors at all, while female representation in the FTSE 100 has been stuck at 12.5 per cent for the past three years.

Lord Davies commented that a huge culture shift was needed in corporate Britain to bring about change at the top.

But Lord Davies conceded that a huge culture shift needed to occur in corporate Britain to bring about change at the top.

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