London Stock Exchange welcomes 30% Club

Brenda Trenowden, 30% Club Global Chair, Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever and Hiro Mizuno, CIO, Government Pension Investment Fund Japan opened the market today ahead of a 30% Club roundtable discussion with CEOs and investors. As diversity moves to the forefront in investment stewardship and in the delivery of long term sustainable returns, the discussion focused on the role of engagement between companies and investors on this issue. FTSE Russell also launched their new gender diversity index at the event.  

Hosted by Donald Brydon at London Stock Exchange Group and moderated by Sarah Gordon, Business Editor of the Financial Times, participants in the discussion also included Mark Zinkula, Chief Executive Officer, Legal & General Investment Management and Hanneke Smits, CEO, Newton Investment Management.  

The 30% Club launched in the UK in 2010 with a goal of achieving a minimum of 30% women on FTSE100 boards; currently the figure stands at 29%, [DG1] up from 12.5% in 2010. In 2016, the scope of the original target was extended and the goal is now a minimum of 30% women on FTSE350 boards by 2020 and a pipeline target of a minimum of 30% women at senior management level of FTSE100 companies by 2020. As of 28 January 2018, 30 FTSE100 CEOs (across 29 companies) and 29 FTSE250 CEOs (across 28 companies) signed up to the 30% Club's campaign #30PCCEOLeadership to improve gender diversity in their senior leadership teams and commit to the 30% Club's targets by end of 2020.

The 30% Club is strongly supportive of voluntary targets and believes in the power of investor stewardship to bring about progress in companies on gender representation on boards and across senior leadership management teams. 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 and companies.

The 30% Club's UK Investor Group was established in 2011 and now has 27 investor members (including asset owners, asset managers and charity investors) with collective assets under management of over £10.5 trillion. A Statement of Intent from the UK Investor Group was launched in October 2016, which all members commit to. The Investor Group is now collaborating on engagement with investee companies and companies are welcoming this engagement. In addition, there are also Investor Groups in Australia, Canada and the US and we are working towards a global group to harness the full power of investor stewardship.