CALL FOR LEGISLATION TRANSPARENCY IN CORPORATE REPORTING ON GENDER BALANCE

Given:

· the now-proven link between corporate performance and gender balanced leadership teams,

· the rise of quotas on corporate boards in a number of European countries (Norway, Spain, France)

· the recommendations made by the UK Financial Reporting Council, headed by Baroness Hogg, with the following  reference to gender balance on corporate boards:

“To encourage boards to be well balanced and avoid “group think” there are new principles on the composition and selection of the board, including the need to appoint members on merit, against objective criteria, and with due regard for the benefits of diversity, including gender diversity.”

 

We, the undersigned, recommend that:

·       financial reporting of companies include greater transparency on the current gender balance in management with a particular focus on the company’s executive leadership.

·       a law be adopted that requires disclosure of the following elements:

o   Gender balance (in absolute numbers and percentages) of the company’s Executive Committee
(meaning all direct reports into the CEO)

o   Gender balance at the two reporting levels below this
(also referred to as n-2 and N-3, where ‘n’ refers to the CEO)

o   Gender balance in management

o   Gender balance across all employees

·       The government would create a monitoring body to ensure annual reporting and track the progress being made towards gender balance through all levels of companies in the UK.

 

It is time to move the debate from encouraging and recognizing supportive or ‘women-friendly’ activities to actually demonstrating results in rebalancing the gender mix between men and women.

There have been many efforts to improve the gender balance in the business world. It is time to start enabling investors and other stakeholders to evaluate the efficacy of the efforts to date and to analyse which companies have harnessed the competitive advantages that gender balance has been shown to yield.

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