Here, we showcase a selection of the women who have succeeded to top posts in the past year, as well as others in high profile roles.
The latest statistics show that the UK is making progress in reaching its target, set by Lord Davies two years ago, of 25% of board positions being held by women by 2015.
19% of directors in FTSE100 companies are now female – up from 12.5% when Lord Davies initially reported in 2011 and 17.5% in May.
Of this, 23.8% of non-executive directors are women – up 15.6% since 2011. 24% of board appointments since March this year have been women.
Secretary of state for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable said: “Businesses are clearly still striving to get the right mix of talent around their boardroom table and we must not lose that momentum. This is about more talented women getting executive experience, so that they will not only advise, but run this country's great companies."