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All-women shortlists should not be rushed and could result in a drop in company value

The legalisation of all-women shortlists would mean that headhunters would be able to draw up only female shortlists, free from threat of litigation under guidance from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

Under current plans if the shortlists were proven legally sound, they would not be compulsory and headhunters could choose to offer them.  

Currently, 24% of chief executive roles are represented by women, with 44% of executive director appointments going to women in 2013. Although all-women shortlists could help quickly progress the amount of female chief executives, it could also result in a drop in company value as seen in Norway.  

InterExec Managing director Kit Scott-Brown comments that: “If the UK government legalise all-women shortlists, there is undoubtedly the chance of the & lsquo;golden skirt’ phenomenon occurring in the UK as it did in Norway, resulting in a drop in company value due to many perceiving that women have been hired not due to merit. Looking at last year’s CMI members poll, 57%* were also opposed to mandatory quotas for women on boards.  

Lord Davis’ 2015 quota is for 25% of chief executive roles to be filled by women, a quota that has very nearly been reached already due to attitude changes and no governmental intervention. Surely these shortlists should only be legally implemented when we are not reaching targets especially in regards to maintaining company value and increasing growth.”  



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