In a bid to boost the number of women on boards, Business Secretary Vince Cable is considering recommendations for all-women shortlists on FTSE 100 companies.
Cable is in talks with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to prepare a guidance for recruiters on how and when to use women-only shortlists.
The move is expected to result in sex discrimination law suits from male workers.
The Business Secretary also backed other proposals including headhunters putting at least one woman on the shortlist.
Speaking about the recommendations, a former FTSE 100 chairman, who preferred to remain nameless, told the Guardian: “Is this really going to work anyway? At the end of the day, women won’t be appointed on merit – making their appointments tokenistic – and it actually sets women up for failure.
“I would much rather a comply or explain approach, if that doesn’t work, then change the law. I’m confident you can get at least a third, if not 50%, of women on boards over the next few years, voluntarily.”
Currently, a fifth of all FTSE 100 posts are held by women.
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