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Women On Boards of Co-operative Retailers Double Those At FTSE Companies

Posted on March 8, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Here's that rare thing: an interesting story for International Women's Day 2016, one to make us think diferently - because the old thinking really is not getting us very far.

Consider this -

Nearly twice as many women are directors of co-operative retailers as FTSE 100 and 250 companies

Half of co-operative retailers’ boards have 50% or more female directors, whereas no FTSE companies have over 50%

So I am told by  Co-operatives UK.

You have to admit that's pretty interesting. The question is why the difference in female representation?

(Disclaimer: Lack of time tonight means I haven't been able to think as hard as I would llike about this, but  - genuinely - all ideas welcome and contact details on Home Page of this website or you can tweet at me in disgust @dinamedland)

 "Co-operative retailers have been pioneers of some of the flagship changes in business, from limiting working hours for employees to introducing Fairtrade. On gender equality they are proving leaders too, with double the number of women on their boards as other large businesses" says Helen Barber, Secretary and Head of Advice at Co-operatives UK.

“There is always more to do to ensure that gender equality is embedded across the co-operative sector. But as businesses across the economy are being pushed to increase the number of women on their board, for co-operatives, as organisations run by and for their members, this diversity seems to come more naturally" she added (and the emphasis in her words is mine).

The TUC under Frances O'Grady has made some pretty compelling arguments for worker representation on boards. 

And - of course - the riposte from some will be 'look what happened at the Co-operative Bank' when they elected their members to the board. (Except they were, I think - all, or almost all men ).

#Bygones. And Food For Thought.

Could it be, for example, that the FTSE 350 has an unnecessary 'mystique' around its boardrooms, cultivated carefully by those who finally get there, those who put them there (headhunters) and those who get to know them well and want to make sure they stay there (remuneration consultants, boardroom advisory...er, even journalists...?)

I really don't know - and those are my musings, and nothing to do with Co-operative UK.

Happy #IWD2016 - if we do not question, but simply repeat, we are in danger of boring even ourselves.



Categories: Women, Appointments, Behaviour