30% Club sets new targets for gender diversity

The 30% Club has announced new targets for its gender diversity campaign over the next five years. Following the success of 2015, which saw women reach 26.1% of FTSE-100 Boards, up from 12.5% when it was first launched in 2010, the 30% Club has revealed its continuing push for greater female representation on boards and a new target aimed at developing the pipeline.

The scope of the original Board target is expanding beyond the FTSE100 to a minimum of 30% women on FTSE-350 boards by 2020. In addition – and in order to ensure that this 30% minimum at board level remains sustainable – the 30% Club is also introducing a new pipeline target of a minimum of 30% women on executive committees of FTSE-100 companies by 2020.

A recent study by Cranfield University, in collaboration with Barclays, has shown a fall in the percentage of women on executive committees in the FTSE-100, from 18.1% in 2009 to 15.6% in 2014. The 30% Club is aiming to reverse this decline and ensure all stakeholders within organisations are collaborating to deliver change.

Brenda Trenowden, Head of Financial Institutions, Europe and Head of Banks & DF Americas at ANZ, and Global Chair of the 30% Club, said: “Our new campaign has four key pillars – the first is to continue the work on Boards to make 30% the minimum sustainable level across a wider set of listed companies; the second is aimed at developing a robust pipeline of executive and board-ready women which we plan to achieve through an executive committee target and all of our pipeline initiatives; the third pillar focusses on research and the actionable recommendations that companies can take from it; and the fourth is the international expansion of our work.

“We will continue to work closely with all of our key stakeholders – the boards, the companies, the investors, the government, the executive search firms and the media – to influence change and achieve more inclusive and higher performing boards and organisations.”

2015 was a pivotal and highly rewarding year for the 30% Club: celebrating its fifth anniversary and the final annual report from Lord Davies of Abersoch. The Davies Report on Women on Boards, released in October, revealed the latest figures for women on FTSE-100 boards at 26.1% had surpassed the Report’s initial recommended target of 25% women by 2015.

The club’s fifth year also saw new chapters launched in Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Italy and the GCC, reflecting the increased reach and scale of the campaign since its launch. The new chapters joined the list of other 30% Club groups already in place in Hong Kong, Ireland, Southern Africa and the US.

Brenda Trenowden continued: “The key is to ensure our progress translates to sustainable, meaningful change at every organisational level and throughout society. Our first five years achieved a great deal, and were a great success. Our renewed focus on women at all stages of their career, from schoolroom to boardroom, and our challenge to firms globally to better balance their executive committees, is one we will drive forward for the next five years.”