Carolyn McCall, chief executive officer of FTSE100 listed easyJet, is only one of three female bosses in the index (Reuters)

The number of female members across Britain's top companies' boards has increased, according to a government commissioned report.

Lord Davies' second annual report into women on boards revealed that the UK is making good progress in reaching the target of 25% of board positions being held by women by 2015.

The research found that 19% of directors in FTSE100 companies are female, up from 17.4% in May 2013 and an increase from 12.5% in February 2011.

More than a fifth (23.8%) of all women on FTSE100 boards are non-executive directors, up from 22% in May 2013 and a jump from 15.6% in February 2011, according the report.

Davies also revealed that 6.1% of executive directors are women, up from 5.6% in May 2013 and an increase from 5.5% in February 2011.

The data showed that FTSE100 employers need to appoint 66 more female directors in the next two years in order to meet Davies' target of 25% of women on boards.

But Angela Ahrendts at Burberry, Alison Cooper at Imperial Tobacco and Carolyn McCall at easyJet are still the only female bosses in the index.

"We have still got a long way to go but at least these numbers are moving in the right direction after stalling earlier in the year," Davies stressed.

He added: "Businesses are making real efforts to find and appoint capable women to their boards and I will continue to champion their efforts."


The report showed that 14.9% of directors in FTSE250 companies are female, a rise from 13.8% in May 2013 and a large increase from 7.8% in February 2011.

The research discovered that 18.6% of non-executive directors in FTSE250 organisations are women, up from 17% in May 2013.

But only 5.4% of executive directors in FTSE250 companies are women, down from 5.7% in May 2013.

In total, there are 199 boards with females on them in the FTSE250, up from 188 in May 2013.

"I'm glad the number of women at the top of our most successful companies continues to rise," Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, said.

He added: "Companies are clearly still striving to get the right mix of talent around their boardroom table and we must not lose that momentum."