Business secretary Vince Cable has launched an enhanced code of conduct for executive search companies in an effort to get more women on boards.

The “Enhanced Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms” has emerged from a review of the existing voluntary code by experienced HR and diversity professional Charlotte Sweeney, published earlier this year.

The review set out recommendations such as search firms identifying at least one woman who they would “strongly recommend” when drawing up shortlists for boardroom positions.

It also proposed that a database of “board-ready” women should be created, with each FTSE 100 chairman putting forward two female candidates from senior management teams to create a deeper pool of women with the skills to take a FTSE 350 board position.

The Government has confirmed that the new code builds on the terms of the standard voluntary code, but will recognise the work done by executive search firms to get more women into board-level positions.
It includes 10 new provisions, which involve launching initiatives to support women’s career progress, the sharing of best practice and awareness programmes.

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