London, UK, 30 August 2022: It is with great sadness the 30% Club has learned of the death of Brenda Trenowden, CBE, a former chair of our global campaign.
She was actively involved with the 30% Club since its launch in 2010 and became chair of the UK chapter in 2015. She was an executive at ANZ at the time.
In 2019, while working for PWC UK as a partner, she became global co-chair, alongside Mastercard executive vice chair Ann Cairns. She stepped down from the campaign in 2020 but supported Ann during the transition to the role of sole global chair.
During her involvement with the 30% Club, Brenda launched many successful activities to help promote gender balance in the workplace.
She set a deadline for our campaign’s initial aim of 30% women on the boards of the FTSE 100 by 2020. Building on the Club’s initial focus on chairs as members and improving the share of women on boards, she brought scores of new CEO members into the Club to set voluntary targets for the share of women in senior leadership. She also engaged with many more existing members to help achieve the board target and was delighted when it was achieved early in September 2019.
Since then, there has been acceleration in female representation at board level and there are now almost 40% women on board in the FTSE 100, according to data from BoardEx. The 30% Club hopes this will reach parity in the next few years.
Another major contribution from Brenda was as a driving force behind the 30% Club’s Strategy Best Practices Working Group. She co-chaired the group from its inception in March 2019 to review how businesses should incorporate a diversity lens into enterprise-wide strategy development for customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
In November 2019, Brenda opened the market at the London Stock Exchange to launch the working group’s report, Are You Missing Millions? The Commercial Imperative for Putting a Gender Lens on your Business, featuring case studies from the group’s participating firms. Since then, Brenda continued to work across multinationals gathering further case studies and best practices to evolve the thinking in this space.
Brenda’s work and dedication to promoting gender diversity in business is a rich legacy and was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2018.
Of her appointment to Commander of the British Empire, Brenda said: “I have the privilege of working with talented and committed women and men as part of 30% Club to affect real change. Improving gender balance in the workplace is so important to driving business success and economic prosperity.”
Ann Cairns, global chair of the 30% Club, said: “Brenda’s passion for life and commitment to gender diversity will be sorely missed across the 30% Club and the business community globally. She worked tirelessly to open doors for women, and men, throughout her career and was adamant talent should never be held back because of a person’s gender, race or anything else. The 30% Club is thinking of Brenda’s family and friends at this saddest of times.”