The inaugural 30% Club ‘Actions Beyond Words’ seminar, held at London’s CASS Business School, attracted speakers including the Home Secretary Theresa May, Centrica chairman Sir Roger Carr and Lloyds chairmen Sir Win Bischoff. The event focused on positive actions that need to be taken to increase the number of women on company boards.
Among the 150 attendees included executives from Marks & Spencer, Allen & Overy, Deloitte and HSBC, along with chief executive officer (CEO) of MITIE Ruby McGregor- Smith and Peter Montagnon from the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). Topics covered included the FRC corporate governance code consultation, the ineffectiveness of quotas, the role of the head-hunter and support for getting talented women back into the workplace after having children. Martin Gilbert, CEO of Aberdeen Asset Manager, said that increased interest and pressure on boards by shareholders, particularly fund managers, was the key to make this change happen swiftly.
May said: “This government’s priority is to get our economy back in shape. To do that we need to give all women the opportunity to achieve their full potential – from proper careers advice in schools, to making sure talented women reach the very top. That also means getting more women onto the boards of the UK’s biggest companies. There’s growing evidence that more diverse boards are better boards, they make better decisions, know their customers better and out perform their male-dominated rivals. Businesses and organisations like the 30% Club are taking a lead role in making change happen.”
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