Time is right for more women on UK boards, 30% Club tells Prime Minister

logoA BLOG POST BY BARONESS GOUDIE Welcomes strengthening of principle on boardroom diversity in FRC UK Corporate Governance Code

At a Downing Street reception yesterday to celebrate women’s contribution to UK business hosted by David Cameron, the founding members of the 30% club will urge British firms to make boardroom diversity a priority.

Addressing an audience of senior businessmen and women, Helena Morrissey, founder of the 30% club and chief executive officer of Newton Investment Management, emphasised that if the UK is to achieve the club’s goal of 30% female representation on UK boards by 2015, change in the boardroom must come through concerted voluntary action and not quotas:

“The UK has been and can continue to take the lead internationally in setting high standards of corporate governance, including ensuring boards are sufficiently diverse to bring a range of perspectives and experiences to any issue. It’s a big sociological challenge to get there but the time is right to make sustainable lasting change through voluntary steps driven by belief in the outcome.”

She also acknowledged the work being done by industry bodies to ensure this challenge is met by senior leaders of British industry:

“The 30% Club is all about taking the gender diversity issue beyond the advocacy groups and into the business community, from the periphery into the mainstream, to achieve not just more women on boards but better corporate performance.”

Lord Davies was also speaking at yesterday’s event, and provided an update following his recommendations earlier this year on boardroom diversity.

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