The accounting profession has expressed its support for
diversity in the boardroom following the European Union’s notice it
will be pressing ahead with mandatory quotas to increase the number
of women on UK boards.
Deloitte has launched a programme aiming to develop women to a
boardroom level. The six month programme will facilitate women’s
networking with peer board members and familiarise them with the
workings of the board and the skills required.

Deloitte decided to launch the programme after
client feedback and research found women often struggle finding
their way to the top of a FTSE company and need to learn the
‘boardroom language’.

A Deloitte report found women currently only
hold 16% of non-executive director roles across FTSE 350 companies
and it will take 20 years before women represent 30% of the boards
of the same companies.

“Without doubt, there should be more women
across boards in all UK companies. There is a wealth of research
which demonstrates companies with women in senior positions perform
better and by offering this programme we hope to see this figure
increase.” Deloitte compensation and benefits practice vice
chairman and senior partner Carol Arrowsmith said.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in
England and Wales (ICAEW) also publicly expressed its belief that
“diversity in the boardroom is key to delivering financial

ICAEW executive director Sharron Gunn
explained it is difficult “not only to get more women into senior
positions, but also to make sure their talent is developed and

“I think the key issue here is to challenge
the organisational pipeline of senior executives and future leaders
immediately below board level, as these are the people who will be
on the board in future.” Gunn said.