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Company boards should consider diversity a requirement in terms of the skills people possess, rather than prioritising gender diversity, one expert has stated, which may be of interest to those intending to set up a recruitment agency.

A range of experience and skills is essential in creating a diverse board, according to Alistair Tebbit of the Institute of Directors.

He notes that while gender diversity is desirable, this should not be put before having a breadth of skills and experience.

"It would be surprising if you got that really good balance and you didn't have some women – but it is not a prerequisite for having a balanced board," he comments.

The recently published Board Monitor Report, produced by the European Professional Women's Network and Russell Reynolds Associates, shows that the proportion of women present on boards within top UK companies has increased to 13.6 per cent from 11.5 per cent in 2008.

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