Glencore the only FTSE 100 company with an all-male board vows to hire a woman before end of 2014

Mining and commodity trading company Glencore Xstrata, which is the only FTSE 100 firm without a woman on its board, has vowed to appoint a female director by the end of the year.

Tony Hayward, Glencore chairman and former BP boss, made the vow during his speech to the shareholders at the company's annual general meeting.

Glencore chairman and former BP boss Tony Hayward. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA

Glencore values and promotes diversity across its business. The appointment of a female board member will be a key sign of our commitment in this area.

It is an important priority of the board to appoint a female director before the end of this year.

– Tony Hayward

However, Business Secretary Vince Cable told ITV News' Joel Hills that Glencore "has had over three years to address the issue" of its all-male board.

Mr Cable said the mining and commodity trading company has "consistently failed to act".

Vince Cable said the company had "consistently failed to act". Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

He added that "it is simply not credible that one company cannot find any suitable women".

Glencore has also come under criticism from some shareholders for being the last FTSE 100 company with an all male board.

A group of British public-sector pension funds has criticised both the company and Mr Hayward for their failure to set targets for appointing women to the company's board.

The all male Glencore board including Tony Hayward (centre, bottom row). Credit: Glencore

Mr Hayward served a year as Glencore's interim chairman before being appointed on a permanent basis on May 8.

The British businessman left BP in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The oil slick left from the Deepwater Horizon spill is pictured on a satellite. Credit: REUTERS/NASA/Handout

An explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico left 11 people dead and millions of gallons of oil spilled in the sea.