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The death of the modern world’s greatest female political leader might seem an odd moment to agitate for more women in company boardrooms. However, Vince Cable, the British business secretary, is not shy of the cheap political gesture. Today he is threatening British-listed companies with mandatory quotas if they fail to meet the government’s target of 25 per cent female directors by 2015. The objective of one-woman-in-four was set two years ago by the British government; a report from the Cranfield School of Management shows we have some way to go, and indicates that progress is slowing.