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Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever, Hiro Mizuno, chief investment officer of the Japanese Government Pension Investment Fund and Brenda Trenowden, global Chair of the 30% Club, opened the market at the London Stock Exchange on Friday (2nd February) as part of an event to mark the growth of its investor group membership.

The 30% club which in the UK campaigns for 30% women on FTSE350 boards and 30% women at senior management level in FTSE100 companies. Its investor group was established in 2011 and has grown from an original membership of seven to  27 members and from £1.6 trillion to £10.5 trillion in assets under management.  The 30% club and the investor initiative is now global, with groups in Australia and Canada as well as a new group forming in the US.

30% Club
30% Club celebrates success in the campaign to achieve more gender diversity on FTSE boards

In October 2016, the 30% Club UK Investor Group published a Statement of Intent to signal the collective voice of the 30% Club Investor Group to companies and the wider marketplace, and to demonstrate the ways in which members will use their ownership rights and undertake stewardship to encourage progress on gender diversity.

The 30% club also praised FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 chief executives (CEO) who have signed up to its campaign #30PCCEOLeadership to improve gender diversity in their senior leadership teams and urged remaining CEOs to join their peers in making public a belief that gender balance is good for business. The group wrote to FTSE 350 CEOs last summer to urge them to commit to setting an aspirational target of 30% female representation in their senior leadership teams by 2020.

At that time two FTSE 100 CEO members were fully committed to the senior management target – Mark Wilson of Aviva and Moya Greene of Royal Mail – and two FTSE 250 CEO members – Stephen Koseff of Investec and Preben Prebensen of Close Brothers Group. However, since the letter 30 FTSE 100 CEO Members across 29 companies and 28 FTSE 250 CEOs across 27 companies were now committed to the campaign goals.

Trenowden said: “I am delighted with the momentum that our campaign has achieved over the past year – both with our tremendous take-up of FTSE350 CEO members and with the expansion and very active engagement of our investor group.  Members are collectively engaging with listed FTSE companies on gender and broader diversity as a stewardship and governance issue and the companies have responded well to the constructive dialogue.  We want to highlight the companies that are doing well in this space and proactively nudge those who need more encouragement.

Last Updated: 2 February 2018
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