London Stock Exchange welcomes 30% Club

Brenda Trenowden, 30% Club Global Chair, and Caroline Dinenage, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Early Years, opened the market today ahead of a 30% Club Investor Group roundtable discussion to launch the group’s Statement of Intent.

The purpose of the 30% Club Investor Group is to help coordinate the investment community’s approach to the issue of gender diversity, in particular to explain the investment case for more diverse boards; to encourage all investors to engage on the issue of board diversity with Chairs of Boards, independent board members and senior management teams; and to consider the issue when voting on the Report & Accounts and the appointment and re-election of board members.

The 30% Club is strongly supportive of voluntary targets over quotas and believes that it is important that investors actively encourage and bring about progress by companies on gender representation on boards and across senior leadership management teams.

To this end, it is vital that investors engage with companies on the issue and, where appropriate, exercise their ownership rights through voting in the event of inadequate responses by boards.

Participants in the discussion included: Sir Winfried Bischoff, Chairman, Financial Reporting Council; Richard Buxton, Chief Executive Officer, Old Mutual Global Investors; Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Money; Will Goodhart, Chief Executive Officer, CFA UK , Sarah Gordon, Business Editor, Financial Times; Andy Griffiths, Executive Director, Investor Forum; Sir Philip Hampton, Chair, Hampton-Alexander Review; Chris Hitchen, Chief Executive Officer, RPMI Railpen; Emma Howard Boyd, Chair, Environment Agency & Co-lead Investor Group, 30% Club; Helena Morrissey, Chair, Newton Investment Management & Chair, The Investment Association; Euan Munro, Chief Executive Officer, Aviva Investors; Anne Richards, Chief Executive Officer, M&G Investments; Brenda Trenowden, Head of Financial Institutions Group, Europe, ANZ Bank & Global Chair, 30% Club; Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive Officer , London Stock Exchange Group and Mark Zinkula, Chief Executive Officer, Legal & General Investment Management.

The 30% Club launched in the UK in 2010 with a goal of achieving a minimum of 30% women on FTSE-100 boards - currently the figure stands at 26%, up from 12.5%. Accelerated progress has been achieved through the leadership of the Club’s Chair and CEO Members.

As of 2016, the scope of the original target has been extended and the goal is now a minimum of 30% women on FTSE-350 boards by 2020. In tandem with this – and in order to ensure that this 30% remains sustainable – the 30% Club has also established a pipeline target of a minimum of 30% women at senior management level of FTSE-100 companies by 2020.