The London-based 30% Club is taking its campaign for more gender diversity in the boardroom directly to institutional investors.
Helena Morrissey — CEO of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30% Club — encouraged investors themselves to demand more diversity on boards as a way of bringing about better business decisions. “This is not a women's issue, this is a business issue,” said Ms. Morrissey, speaking at an investor seminar on the topic of gender diversity in London last month. Newton, which is known as Newton Capital Management in the U.S., managed about �45.9 billion ($72.7 billion) as of Dec. 31.
“The group that can make a real contribution — the people who can start to make it happen faster — is the shareholders,” added Sir Roger Carr, chairman of Centrica PLC, Windsor, England, and senior adviser at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Since the launch of the 30% Club in November 2010, institutions controlling an aggregate of about �1.77 trillion in assets have signed up to support the initiative, which has a target of having women make up 30% of U.K. corporate boards by 2015. In 2011, the rate of women appointments on FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 company boards more than doubled, with 27% of the new appointments for the year going to women, according to data provided by the 30% Club. Women now represent about 15.2% of the FTSE 100 company boards.