Publicly traded firms with male-only executive directors on their boards missed out on just over £430bn ($655bn) of profit in 2014, according to accountancy firm Grant Thornton.

Grant Thornton conducted a report called Women in business: the value of diversity which found companies in the UK, US and India with at least one female executive on the board perform

The UK’s share of this number was £49bn, the US amounted to £373bn and in India it was £9bn.

The report is based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) which is an American stock market index, India’s CNX 200 and the UK’s FTSE 350.

In the report Francesca Lagerberg, global leader for tax services at Grant Thornton, said: “Do companies with diverse boards really perform better than those run purely by men, which currently dominate the corporate landscape? The answer is yes: they perform better. Materially better.”

484 of the S&P 500 companies were found to have a woman on the board. Of the Indian CNX 200, 176 companies have a female board member and the FTSE 350 has 330.

Discussing male-only boards Lagerberg said: “This is progress but for the most part, these women are employed as non-executive directors. Just 127 of the 1,050 companies we looked at in India, the UK and US employ women as executives

She added: “Perhaps businesses have simply not been aware of the value diversity brings. So it makes sense to invest in your high-performing junior women now to make sure they are ready and willing to take the step up into senior management.”

In 2011 Lord Mervyn Davies set a target of 25% of FTSE 100 companies holding board positions by 2015. In March this figure stood at 23.5%. Despite nearly all FTSE 100 firms now having female directors only 8.6% of women hold executive roles a figure which has slowly risen from 5.5% over the last four years.

Recently Davies targeted Hastings and Worldpay for not having women on their boards saying he was surprised that the companies had not taken the issue more seriously. Both companies responded by saying they will be looking for women directors.