Industry Leaders Endorse Growth Through Diversity


The inaugural 30% “Action Beyond Words” seminar promotes the next steps to get more women on boards

Tuesday 5th July, London – Last night saw the inaugural 30% Club “Actions Beyond Words” seminar held at London’s CASS Business School. The event, where speakers included the Home Secretary – the Rt Hon. Theresa May, Centrica Chairman Sir Roger Carr and Lloyds Chairmen Sir Win Bischoff, focused on the positive actions that need to be taken to make the much talked about change now happen.

Amongst the 150 attendees, was a swathe of supporting FTSE Chairmen including those of Marks & Spencer, Allen & Overy, Deloitte and HSBC along with CEO of MITIE Ruby McGregor- Smith and Peter Montagnon from the Financial Reporting Council. Topics covered included the FRC corporate governance code consultation, the ineffectiveness of quotas, the role of the headhunter and support for getting talented women back into the workplace after having children. One of the more salient points made by Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Manager, was that increased interest and pressure on boards by shareholders, especially fund managers, was the key to make this change happen swiftly.

The Home Secretary, who spoke at the event 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.”

Helena Morrissey, Founder of the 30% Club commented:

“We are encouraged that so many of the 30% Club’s supporting FTSE Chairmen attended our inaugural event. Without them this change can’t happen but there must also be work from the ground up as well as from the top down. Headhunters, Government and companies must all play their part to adapt and adjust the old ways of working before our over-arching goals can be achieved. This event really showed that the desire for change is there, we now just need to make it happen.”

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