LONDON, March 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
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The Chairman of Barclays, Marcus Agius, is calling for greater awareness of the talented pool of women in the UK who could take up board positions on FTSE companies. Hosting the latest 2012 Cranfield University's Female FTSE Board Report launch on the hiring of women onto boards, he explains how seriously Barclays takes this issue:
"Diversity is central to Barclay's citizenship agenda, one of our four strategic priorities. We are fortunate to have some fantastic female role models at executive level including Maria Ramos who is Group Chief Executive of Barclays Africa (Absa Group Ltd) with forty four thousand staff reporting to her. Valerie Soranno Keating is head of our successful Barclaycard operation. Deanna Oppenheimer, who has just retired, ran all of our retail operations in the UK and Europe. 50% of the entire Barclays workforce reported to these three women until quite recently. Twenty percent of the Executive Board is female. We believe in diversity and we are pushing for greater awareness."
Lord Davies of Abersoch, who leads the Government commissioned review into women on boards, commented:
"The good news is that 25% of all new board appointments to the FTSE are women. We don't like quotas as we need to self-regulate but the more diverse the team the better the company performance.
"The great thing is that 50% of all new female appointments have never sat on a FTSE 100 board before. We are now dipping into a new gene pool which is great for the UK. Governance practices in the UK are seen as some of the best in the world, although there are still a few dinosaurs among company chairmen who don't get the issue of representing their work forces and their customers.
"Beyond financial services there is a strong talent pool of women. Headhunters need to identify them and chairmen need to interview them."
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