Lord Davies, who oversaw the coalition government’s initiative to increase the participation of women on boards, told The Guardian that investors should “take into account” the all-male boards of insurer Hastings and payment processing company Worldpay before deciding whether to back the floats.
The peer said he was surprised that shareholders in Hastings and Worldpay had not raised the women issue as one of major concern.
Worldpay is set to be the largest float since 2011, as it has set to be valued at £3.5bn. The Hastings IPO (initial public offering) has been valued at around £15bn.
According to data collected by Financial News, only 11.5% of the directors of companies floated in London in 2013 were women. The figure rose slightly to 13.6% in 2014.