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The Investment Association and Hampton-Alexander Review of women on boards has written to FTSE 350 companies with no or few women on their boards.
The Investment Association and the Hampton-Alexander Review have written to 69 companies in the FTSE 350 with no women or just one woman on their board asking them to detail their action plans on making progress in gender diversity.
The letter tells companies – three of whom have no women on their boards – they must meet the Hampton-Alexander targets of a third of women on their board and leadership team by 2020 or risk investor dissent at their annual general meetings. It also states that diverse boards make better long-term decisions.
Sir Philip Hampton, chair of the Hampton-Alexander Review, said boards with just one woman “do not reflect the population of very talented women capable of making great contributions in boardrooms”.
Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee, added: “The low numbers of women in executive positions can only hinder progress: gender pay gaps are highest in sectors with some of the lowest numbers of women executives.
“The time for our biggest companies to remedy the lack of gender diversity is long overdue and they need to set out what actions they are taking to make progress. The role of investors is important here too and they need to assert themselves to ensure that diversity is reflected more visibly at board level.”