Companies should take a more widespread approach to increasing boardroom diversity than simply concentrating on introducing more women to executive positions, it has been suggested.

Institute of Directors spokesman Alistair Tebbit acknowledged that it is important to ensure that more female workers occupy senior roles in leading businesses, but called for additional "diversity of skills and experience".

"It's for companies and people making appointments to company boards to think about diversity from the perspective of what their needs are," he said. "If that involves more women then that is great, but it won't necessarily."

Mr Tebbit went on to claim that some organisations become "fixated on gender diversity" to the detriment of other aspects of recruitment and suggested the presence of women is not a "prerequisite" for a balanced boardroom.

Entrepreneurs looking for practical advice on how to implement the measures contained within the new Equality Act could benefit from attending the Workplace Equality and Diversity Forum 2010 next month.

Posted by Cameron Thomson