The 30% Club believes that gender balance on boards and in senior management not only encourages better leadership and governance, but diversity further contributes to better all-round board performance, and ultimately increased corporate performance for both companies and their shareholders. Diversity and the fostering of inclusive workplaces also plays an important role in increasing innovation, attracting and retaining talent, and enhancing reputation and brand.
The 30% Club aims to develop a diverse pool of talent for all businesses through the efforts of its Chair and CEO members who are committed to better gender balance at senior levels and throughout their organisations. Business leadership is key to our mission, taking the issue beyond a specialist diversity effort and integrating it into enterprise-wide strategy development.
The campaign maintains an overarching “top of the house” focus and looks to maintain a spotlight on the most senior segments of organisations, with an implicit understanding that companies will necessarily have to work on their pipelines to drive sustainable, long-term progress at the senior levels which the campaign looks to influence.
The 30% Club approach - collaborative, concerted business-led efforts - can help accelerate progress towards better gender balance at all levels of organisations. The 30% Club does not believe mandatory quotas are the right approach (save in exceptional circumstances). Instead, we support a voluntary approach in order to realise meaningful, sustainable change. 30% Club efforts are complementary to individual company efforts and existing networking groups, adding to these through collaboration and the visible and voluntary commitment of senior business leaders.
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).
When the campaign originally launched in the UK back in 2010, there were just 12% women on FTSE 100 boards and 30% felt like an aspirational stretch target. At that time, we also identified research suggesting that 30% represents a critical mass from which point minority groups can impact boardroom dynamics.
Our 30% target is a minimum objective - it represents a floor not a ceiling – ultimately we are striving for gender balance. To this day, 30% women - either at board or senior management level - remains a stretch for many organisations throughout the world.
In 2010, the 30% Club campaign was founded by Dame Helena Morrissey and has since evolved into a global mission with chapters in 14 countries/regions around the world. In 2016, Brenda Trenowden CBE was appointed as the new lead for the UK chapter and as the Global Chair of the 30% Club, reflecting the increased reach and scale of the campaign since its launch. As of June 2019, the leadership structure of the campaign further evolved to reflect its ongoing success and international influencce with Ann Cairns joining as Global Co-Chair of the campaign, alongside Brenda. For more information on our individual chapters and their core areas of focus, please see the relevant chapter pages.