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14th May 2019

Companies face rebuke for failing to boost number of women on board

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Almost 100 firms have been singled out this year by an influential investor group for failing to boost the number of women on their boards.

According to documents seen by the Guardian, the Investment Association (IA), has shamed 94 listed companies for dragging their heels on gender diversity.

The list, which was confirmed by the Investment Association, shows the group has so far identified 57 of the UK’s 350 largest listed companies, 11 of which are on the FTSE 100, before their respective annual general meetings as falling foul of targets that aim to push the proportion of women in top leadership roles above 25%.

20 firms have been given the highest warning, or “red top” for being led by all-male boards or having “one and done” boards that feature a sole female director. A further 74 firms have been issued with an “amber top” warning, which means women account for less than 25% of the board.

There is substantial evidence that a more diverse board is linked to improved business performance. But for many organisations there still needs to be a shift in organisational culture. To achieve this, it’s important organisations develop a strategy to help create an inclusive culture, which includes an action plan setting out how they will improve diversity in line with the requirements of the Corporate Governance Code.

For more information, read the Guardian article here.