One fifth of FTSE 350 companies cautioned for lack of gender diversity at senior leadership levels
Saturday 29 February 2020
Nearly one in five FTSE 350 companies have received letters from the Investment Association (IA) and the Hampton-Alexander Review about the lack of gender diversity on their board and executive committees.
These 63 companies have been asked to outline what action they are taking to improve the gender balance in their leadership teams and ensure they meet the Hampton-Alexander targets of a minimum 33% of women on their board and in their senior leadership teams by the end of 2020.
Many companies have made great progress with the Hampton-Alexander Review recently announcing that across the FTSE 100 index, one third of all board positions are now held by women.
More however needs to done by FTSE 250 boards, with 24 cautioned for having only one women on their board. These so called 'one and done' boards were identified by the Hampton-Alexander Review as having made little progress beyond appointing one woman only. Thirteen companies have received a letter encouraging robust action to address the lack of women in their top teams for a second year running, in 2019 and 2020.
For the first time, companies with all-male executive committees were contacted. Letters were sent to 35 FTSE 350 companies, including four FTSE 100 companies, drawing attention to the lack of progress on women being appointed to their senior leadership teams. An additional, four FTSE 250 companies had an all-male executive committee and also only one women on their board.
Investment managers will be keeping up the pressure on companies during the 2020 AGM season to improve their gender diversity. IVIS, the Investment Association’s Institutional Voting Information Service, will continue to give a ‘red-top’, its highest warning level, to companies which with just one woman (or less) women on their board. This year, companies which have 20% or less gender diversity on their board or in their senior leadership teams will also receive a ‘red-top’.
Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:
“Since the launch of the Hampton-Alexander Review we have seen steady progress with a growing number of women on boards. This is a critical year in which businesses need to demonstrate real change and meet the 33% target for gender diversity across their board and senior leadership teams.
“Diversity results in better decision-making and plays an essential role in a company’s long-term success. Investment managers have been clear that as a minimum they want to see companies meet this target for gender diversity, and those which fail to do so risk facing dissent in the AGM season.”
Sir Philip Hampton, Chair of the Hampton-Alexander Review, said:
"Expectations from Government and Investors regarding gender balance at the top of FTSE companies, and in wider business have been clearly set out. The vast majority of companies understand the business benefits, have taken robust action in response and been working hard to improve the representation of women in leadership for many years."
"Leaders of FTSE 350 companies that are still adrift of the 33% minimum target, need to rise to today’s challenge from the investment community and take swift action now to address the lack of women on the board and in their leadership teams."
Business Minister, Lord Callanan, said:
“It is not just government calling for greater diversity at the top of our FTSE 350 firms, shareholders are taking action too. The message is clear – those businesses that fail to take diversity seriously, risk losing the confidence of their investors. The work of the Hampton-Alexander Review is crucial to making the UK the best place to work and grow a business.”
Notes to Editors:
To reinforce the investors’ commitment to improving diversity on boards, this year, IVIS, the IA’s Institutional Voting Information Service will highlight companies that are not meeting investor expectations on diversity. IVIS will ‘Red Top’ the Corporate Governance Section of the IVIS Report any company in the FTSE 350 with:
- Women representing 20% or less of the Board
- Where there are one or less women on the Board (unless the one third target is achieved i.e. a board of three directors)
- Women representing 20% or less of the Executive Committees and their Direct Reports
'One & Done' Boards
as at February 2020
|FTSE 100||FTSE 250|
|One one woman on the Board for the first time in 2020||11|
|Only one woman on the Board for two years running 2019 and 2020||13|
'One & Done' Boards
|All-male executive committee*||FTSE 100||FTSE 250|
|All-male executive committee||4||31|
All-male executive committee
'One & Done' Boards and all-male executive committees*
*All executive committee data as at June 2019
'One & Done' Boards second year running (2019 and 2020):
|888 Holdings Plc|
|Domino's Pizza Group Plc|
|HG Capital Trust Plc|
|JP Morgan American Investment Trust PLC|
|JP Morgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust Plc|
|JP Morgan Japanese Investment Trust Plc|
|Monks Investment Trust Plc|
|Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund Ltd|
|Telecom Plus Plc|
|Templeton Emerging Markets Investment Trust Pls|
'One & Done' Boards for the first time in 2020:
|4imprint Group Plc|
|Foresight Solar Fund Ltd|
|Helios Towers Plc|
|Hyve Group Plc|
|Network International Holdings Plc|
|Oxford Instruments Plc|
|Pollen Street Secured Lending Plc|
|PPHE Hotel Group Ltd|
|Sirius Real Estate Ltd|
|SSP Group Plc|
All-male executive committees* as of June 2019:
|Ashstead Group Plc|
|BBGI Sicav SA|
|Big Yellow Group Plc|
|Caledonia Investments Plc|
|CLS Holdings Plc|
|Countryside Properties Plc|
|Crest Nicholson Holdings Plc|
|Energean Oil Gas Plc|
|Frasers Group Plc|
|Grafton Group Plc|
|Great Portland Estates Plc|
|Intermediate Capital Group Plc|
|LondonMetric Property Plc|
|Melrose Industries Plc|
|Page Group Plc|
|Premier Oil Plc|
|Sirius Minerals Plc|
|Spirax-Sarco Engineering Plc|
|TI Fluid Systems|
|Vistry Group Plc|
|Workspace Group Plc|
'One & Done' Boads and all-male executive committees
|Hochschild Mining Plc|
For further information, please contact:
Katie Martin, Head of Communications: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)20 7269 4655
Helen Ayres, Communications Manager: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)20 7269 4620
David Parton, Communications Executive: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)20 7269 4625
IA press office: [email protected]
T: 020 7269 4696
BEIS press office:
News desk: 020 7215 1000
Out of hours: 020 7215 1000
About the Investment Association (IA):
- The IA champions UK investment management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 250 members manage £7.7 trillion of assets and the investment management industry supports 115,000 jobs across the UK.
- Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for the economy, so everyone prospers.
- Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
- Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
- Help people achieve their financial aspirations
- Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
- Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.
- The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
- The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages 37% of all assets managed in Europe.
About the Hampton-Alexander Review:
The Hampton-Alexander Review is an independent review, supported by the Department for BEIS and GEO at the Cabinet Office, with KPMG as its main financial sponsor. Sir Philip Hampton is the Chair, and Denise Wilson OBE is the Chief Executive.
The Review monitors the progress of women in leadership across FTSE 350 companies, in 23,000 leadership roles on boards and in the two layers of senior management below the board. The Review published its first report in November 2016 and has published a report showing progress in the year for all FTSE 350 listed companies annually thereafter.
The key recommendations are:
- A 33% target for women on FTSE 350 Boards by the end of 2020.
- A 33% target for women in FTSE 350 leadership roles by the end of 2020 (Leadership is defined as the Combined Executive Committees & Direct Reports to the Executive Committee).
- FTSE 350 companies to increase number of women in roles of Chair, Senior Independent Director and into Executive Director positions on their boards