30% Club UK Investor Group launches Statement on addressing racial inequality
London, UK, 1 March 2022: The 30% Club UK Investor Group has today issued its statement on addressing the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in UK business.
The Group, which is part of a global gender diversity in business campaign, has more than £11 trillion assets under management and has also sent letters to the FTSE 100 companies that have still not met the Parker Review.
The letter warned the laggards that investors may consider voting against companies at their annual general meetings if they fail to take action.
The Investor Group is committed to actively engage with UK company board chairs, nomination committees and executive teams on the issue of racial inequality in their leadership ranks and workforce.
Today’s announcement builds on the UK chapter of the 30% Club introducing race and ethnicity targets in July 2020. Those targets include members of the Club across the FTSE 350 having at least one person of colour at board and executive committee level by the end of 2023. And as the 30% Club campaign is focused on gender, we expect at least half of those appointments to go to women of colour.
While the 30% Club works directly with CEOs and Chairs to encourage change, the Investor Group’s been working on improving the availability of data on race equity within the FTSE100 by engaging with ESG data providers and supporting the creation of new data platforms, such as through its partnership with Diversio.
The Group is also running a race equity training programme for its members to ensure that all investors, big and small, are equipped to take action with the companies they invest in.
Diandra Soobiah, co-chair of the 30% Club UK Investor Group, said: “Diversity and inclusion in companies are integral to sound corporate governance and corporate culture. As long-term investors, we see the failure to take diversity seriously as a stark warning about the long-term sustainability of the company.
“Time is up for organisations that seek to simply tick boxes. The 30% Club Investor Group is putting FTSE companies on notice – the laggards need to do much better, and we’re willing to help.
“We all have an important role to play to ensure persistent race inequities in business and our society are addressed. As investors, we can have stronger dialogue with the companies we invest in, with a view to improving diversity and inclusion within companies in the UK.
Ann Cairns, global chair of the 30% Club, said: “The 30% Club’s UK Investor Group issuing this statement is a significant moment for the UK investor community. With ESG rightfully gaining prominence in the board rooms and executive offices of the world’s biggest companies, addressing racial inequality is imperative for all asset managers.
“It could make a major contribution to delivering the change businesses, economies and societies so desperately need to see. I am tremendously grateful for the hard work done by the co-chairs and members of the 30% Club UK Investor Group to take a stand on racial inequality.”
Notes to Editors
The 30% Club’s UK steering committee is made up of 18 individuals, seven are from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds (39%).
There are three co-chairs of the 30% Club’s UK Investor Group and one is from a racially and ethnically diverse background (33.3%). Members of the Group are institutions rather than individuals.
30% Club’s UK Investor Group signatories to the Statement are: AMP Capital (UK), Astarte Capital Partners, Aviva Investors, AXA Investment Managers, Baring Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, BlackRock, BMO Global Asset Management, Border to Coast Pensions Partnership, Brunel Pension Partnership, Castlefield Investment Partners LLP, Church Investors Group, Eco Advisers Ltd, EdenTree Investment Management, Environment Agency Pension Fund, Fidelity International, Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), Federated Hermes, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Jupiter Asset Management, Legal & General Investment Management, LGPS Central Ltd, Liontrust Investment Partners LLP, Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, Local Pensions Partnership, M&G Investments, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, NEST, Newton Investment Management, Northern Local Government Pension Scheme, Quilter, Resona Asset Management Co., Ltd., Robeco, Royal London Asset Management (CIS) Limited, RPMI Railpen Investments, Sarasin & Partners LLP, Standard Life Aberdeen, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management, T. Rowe Price International Ltd, The Health Foundation and West Midlands Pension Fund, West Yorkshire Pension Fund.
The 30% Club is a global campaign led by Chairs and CEOs taking action to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels of the world’s biggest companies. We set targets of a minimum of 30% female representation at the board and executive committee levels. This is the critical mass at which research shows minority voices are heard. However, the ultimate goal is parity.
Under the leadership of Global Chair, Ann Cairns, the campaign continues to expand its international footprint with presence in more than 20 countries around the world. We support diversity in its very broadest sense and while gender has been our starting point, we fully realise that considerations of ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background and beyond are all part of the journey – and that gender identities are themselves evolving rapidly. We believe that only those organisations that foster truly inclusive cultures – cultures that embrace women who look, act and, importantly, THINK differently – can reach their full potential to positively impact their people, their markets and their communities.
30% Club UK Chapter’s 2023 Targets
- 1. Beyond 30% representation of women on all FTSE 350 boards, to include one person of colour. We support the Parker Review goals for at least one person of colour on every
- FTSE 350 board – in addition, we advocate for gender balance with half these seats going to women, creating 175 board seats for women of colour.
2. Beyond 30% representation of women on all FTSE 350 Executive Committees, to include one person of colour. We advocate for gender balance with half these seats going to women, creating 175 executive committee roles for women of colour.
3. Beyond 30% of all new FTSE 350 Chair appointments to go to women between now and 2023.