Glencore 'to hire’ first female director

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Mining giant Glencore has vowed to hire a woman to sit on its board for the first time, as soon as its merger with Xstrata (Other OTC: XSRAF - news) completes.

Dr Susan Vinnicombe, a co-author of the Cranfield School of Management’s annual female board representation report, said the FTSE 100 (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) company has “committed” to appointing a female director to its newly enlarged board following the merger expected in the first half of this year.

The move comes as Britain approaches the two-year anniversary of Lord Davies’ influential “women on boards” report, which was backed by the Government and called for FTSE 100 companies to increase female board representation to 25pc by 2015, up from 12.5pc in 2010.

That figure has now increased to 17.5pc. But there are still seven FTSE giants that currently have no women on their boards of which Glencore and Xstrata are two.

Dr Vinnicombe said: “When Glencore and Xstrata merge, the number of FTSE 100 companies without women on boards will drop to six.

"They have personally committed to Meryvn [Lord Davies] that they will put a woman on the board, so we will soon be down to five.”

A Glencore spokesman said the company identified “a number of potential, leading female business leaders” for a non-executive role before the merger.

“However, this was put on hold due to the merger. The appointment of a female board director is a significant consideration.”