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Burberry blazes female boardroom trail

Burberry and Marks & Spencer are among the FTSE 100 companies given top marks for the number of female directors on their boards, according to the Female FTSE Board report.

Burberry leads the charge among fashion brands, ranking second in the report’s Female FTSE 100 list, with three female directors. It is also one of only three FTSE 100 companies that has two female executive directors, chief executive Angela Ahrendts and chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright.

According to the report by the Cranford School of Management, “2012 has seen a step change in the number of women appointed onto FTSE 100 companies following the publication of the Davies Report in February 2011”, which called for more women in boardrooms.

There are now 141 women holding FTSE 100 board seats, an increase of 25 on 2010. Those figures include 20 female executive directorships and 143 female non-executive directorships, and overall the percentage of female board directors is 15%.

Marks & Spencer ranks in joint third position, with its board directors Kate Bostock, Laura Wade Gery and Martha Lane Fox, while Next sits in joint 63rd place, with non-executive director Christine Cross. Among the FTSE 250, Debenhams ranked 24th in the list of companies with an at least 20% female board.

The report predicted that 26.7% of directors would be women by 2015 and 36.9% by 2020.

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