"The point of a board is not to sit and agree with each other," says Nick Stephens, chief executive at RSA.
Stephens believes that there needs to be greater turnover at executive level in order to provide women with the opportunity to sit on boards.
"If boards were more ready to look at themselves and to say that one or more of their members should move on for the benefit of the shareholders and the business, then you would get more demand," Stephens
"This is a demand problem, not a supply problem.
It is about paying the same care and attention to the annual review of the board as you do to the annual review of every other single member of staff."
While a greater velocity of turnover would create more opportunities for women to make it on to the board, Stephens
also rallies against what he
describes as the "self-fulfilling prophecy" of risk aversion.
"In executive and non-executive roles, clients want candidates to have experience of being on a company board before," Stephens
"If that is the case, and you have very few women on boards, you can't appoint a woman.
Risk reduction means that boards end up hiring people like themselves."
Getting out of the boardroom
Assuming that boards - and more importantly Chairmen - look at their positions more objectively on an annual basis, then Stephens
believes that the women that will claim a seat at the top table are those that are networked with the board.
"If you give enough of your senior executive women access to your board, the perceived risk of hiring them goes down and you get rid of the problem that they haven't got experience," he