An influential investor group has written to more than 60 publicly indexed companies with handiest an unmarried lady director, such as Domino’s Pizza and JD Sports, elevating issues over a loss of gender diversity and warning of a backlash if progress is stalled. The Investment Association (IA), which represents 250 corporations with £7.7tn in belongings underneath control, has joined up with the Hampton-Alexander evaluate team to criticize FTSE 350 corporations with “one and achieved” boardrooms that have a single female board member.
Domino’s Pizza Group; JD Sports Fashion; the pub’s institution Greene King, proprietor of the Wagamama and Garfunkel’s restaurant chains; and the gambling business enterprise 888 Holdings are among the sixty-six companies to receive the letter, having been singled out within the cutting-edge Hampton-Alexander review in November.
Similarly, three businesses with all-male boards – the belongings company Daejan Holdings, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, and TR Property Investment Trust – have also acquired the letter. Targets set with the aid of the authorities-commissioned Hampton-Alexander evaluate aim for women to make up at least 33% of FTSE 350 forums and management teams through 2020. “Investors don’t forget diversity to be a critical issue for business fulfillment,” the letter stated. Chris Cummings, the IA’s CEO, said: “Investors had been consistently clear that they need to see new variety inside the boardroom, so it is entirely unacceptable that one in five of the UK’s most prominent organizations is falling to this point brief. Companies ought to do more than take the tokenistic step of appointing simply one woman to their board and remember that job performed.
“There is also compelling proof that boards with new gender balance outperform their less-diverse friends. These agencies should play up their game and explain genuinely how they may be making plans to meet the Hampton-Alexander targets or threaten investor dissent at their AGM.” The IA has already pledged that its Institutional Voter Information Service will give a “pink pinnacle” or highest caution degree to firms that fail to address a loss of female representation. It says the one’s issues “can also be mentioned towards the re-election of the chair of the nominations committee” ahead of every corporation’s annual widespread assembly. The shareholder advisory company Glass Lewis has traditionally taken goal at nomination committee heads and voted in opposition to their re-election if they persisted in being led by way of all-male forums.
The IA and Hampton-Alexander team at the moment are urging dozens of corporations, along with Acacia Mining, the exclusive playing group 888 Holdings, and the Frankie and Benny’s owner, Restaurant Group, to attract up to a clear roadmap for how they plan to address the gender imbalance. But Martin Garcia Mortell, Glass Lewis’s director of research for the UK and Europe, advised the Guardian earlier this month that interest might grow to become to boards with only one woman amongst senior ranks. The letter said: “We would love you to set out how you need to make proper development to improving board diversity. We, therefore, ask you to set out what actions the board is taking to ensure that massive development is made to fulfill the Hampton-Alexander 2020 targets.”