THE latest Hampton-Alexander Review report revealed that one-in-three board positions (349 women) are held by women at FTSE 100 firms.

The Hampton-Alexander Review encouraged companies to meet the 33 per cent target by the end of 2020. In the UK this target is voluntary unlike some other countries. The fact that the UK has managed to reach the target, set out on a voluntary basis without the need for legislation or quotas is promising however, this is not mission completed, only the beginning.

The report and its result are clear evidence that spotlighting diversity and its importance to companies could change behaviour of bigger businesses.

The success of the numbers revealed in the report is promising, however, there is still progress to be made.

Fiona Hathorn, Women on Boards UK chief executive, has described the progress outside the 350 largest companies in the UK as “glacial” and has called for the focus to be moved from just the board to improving representation at the top levels of businesses.

Businesses should look at ways to reduce the barriers that are currently preventing women progressing in business, this includes more flexible ways of working which allows women and families to balance their work and personal lives more effectively.

Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce have achieved a fantastic representation of gender equality on our Board, Area Council, within our senior team and within our company.

The Chamber is proud of our ever popular, growing Women’s Business Forums in both Herefordshire and Worcestershire, alongside our Women’s Business Conference.

Our recent, separately held Women’s Forums in Herefordshire and Worcestershire saw almost 100 attendees combined.

This popular event always provides lots of added value to attendees. Each event is aimed at business people from across Worcestershire, not exclusively to women, and is held at family friendly hours to allow attendees that have children the chance to join fellow business people for an informative event.

I’m passionate about ensuring that all individuals are given equal opportunities in every role within business - from the boardroom to the shop floor, there is so much to be gained by a true and genuine mix of all our combined skills and individualities. These opportunities must be embedded though into our culture, and not the result of an arbitrary count of gender equality numbers. There is no doubt in my mind that embracing all people can help with the talent shortage and raise our overall economic performance.

Our next Women’s Business Forum will be held on Thursday, April 30.

If you would like to attend this event please do get in contact with our events team on 01905 673612 or email