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24 December 2012
British businesses are appointing an increasing number of women to directorships, while the gap between the number of female directors at large companies and smaller firms is narrowing.
These findings are included in a new report from Experian, which discovered that the overall number of directors increased from 4.3 million to five million between 2007 and 2012, with the rise in female directors outstripping men.
It found that the number of women in such positions jumped by 24 per cent, compared with a 15 per cent increase in male directors.
Although small companies are still more likely to appoint female directors, the figures showed that progress has been made in this area.
In 2007, 48 per cent of small companies had at least one female director compared with 33 per cent of large businesses. This year, the proportion had risen to 50 per cent of small firms and 40 per cent of large organisations.
"Smaller companies are clearly the driving force for female directors, but our research shows that larger companies' efforts to increase the number of female directors have made a significant difference," said Max Firth, UK managing director of Experian's Business Information Services division.
The report follows a recent survey from investment management firm Heartwood, which revealed that 90 per cent of senior corporate directors believe further work is needed to improve boardroom diversity in the UK.