BIS has today published a report summarising the UK's "voluntary, business led" approach to increase representation of women on FTSE boards.

The report records a number of successes, for example the fact that FTSE 100 companies met a voluntary target of 25% of women board members (it is not intended to impose mandatory quotas in this regard) and that there are now no FTSE 100 companies with all-male boards (21 FTSE 100 companies had all-male boards in 2011).

It is clear from the report that work does, however, remain to be done to achieve the government's longer term aim of a better gender balance on FTSE boards. The report confirms that, of the 286 women on FTSE boards, 260 of those are in non-executive positions which tend to be less involved with the day-to-day running of a company. The report sets a new voluntary target of 33% of women board members at FTSE 350 companies by 2020.

The report forms part of the government's equality boosting measures which will also include mandatory gender pay gap reporting for employers with 250 or more employees. Gender pay gap reporting is intended to measure the difference between men's and women's average salaries and will include forcing larger employers to publish information about their bonuses. Although draft regulations are not expected to be published until the first half of 2016, employers could start thinking now about trying to identify any pay gaps, understand the reasons behind any such pay gaps and taking steps to eliminate them.