I support the 'Women on the Board Pledge for Europe' drawn up by European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding and would urge British Industry to support this initiative.
Women in business should not be just about luxury brands. I hope this voluntary code will be taken on by professions such as the legal and banking industries. Having experience in these sectors I know a macho culture often precludes the best talent from rising to the top. This is never a good deal for business nor for women.
Lord Davies recently highlighted that only 12.2% of FTSE 100 Directors are women which is, in my view, just too low.
Not having proper representation of women in corporate Britain we are turning our back on approximately 52% of the pool of British Corporate Talent. I am pleased that luxury brand producer LVMH, whose brands include Louis Vuitton, Hennessy and Moet, are leading the way. However we should not be leaving it up to Europe to dictate how we run corporate Britain.
I would not support legally binding obligations on companies, such as the recent French law that requires all large companies to appoint 40% of women to their board by 2017, but not having women on the board of our Great British companies just makes bad business sense.