Poland joins the 30% Club

June 9, 2021, Warsaw: The 30% Club - a global initiative promoting the business aspect of diversity is launching in Poland today.

The goal of 30% Club Poland is to increase the representation of women to at least 30% of management and supervisory boards combined in 140 of the largest Polish listed companies by 2030.

The campaign also has an intermediate goal of a threshold of 20% female participation in the governing bodies of WIG20, mWIG40 and sWIG80 companies by 2025 and the absence of all-male boards among those companies.

At the end of 2020, the share of women on boards of those companies was only 15.5%.

CEOs and chairs of listed companies or companies with more than 100 employees may join the initiative.

The first members to join the campaign in Poland were CEOs and Chairs of 13 companies (listed alphabetically): BASF Polska, Benefit Systems, Blue Media, Credit Suisse Poland, Emitel, IBM Poland and Baltics, Mastercard Europe Polish branch, Orange Polska, Ryvu Therapeutics, Siemens Polska, Société Générale Branch in Poland, Summa Linguae and Wirtualna Polska.

Founder member James Van Bergh, Chair of the Supervisory Board of Benefit Systems, said: "I strongly support the goals of the 30% Club in Poland. Gender diversity is an important part of the broader issue of diversity at the senior level of companies. A more diverse Management Board and Board of Directors allows for a wider range of experience, knowledge, and competence which in turn leads to better decision making and a stronger corporate culture."

GLOBAL CAMPAIGN

The 30% Club is a global campaign recognising that gender diversity on company boards brings tangible business benefits, resulting from the selection of people for the highest positions from the entire talent pool.

Participation in the campaign is about achieving measurable goals of gender diversity on company boards and smashing glass ceilings for women.

The 30% threshold for female participation has its origin in the critical mass theory, where it has been defined as the minimum percentage of the group at which minority voices begin to influence majority decisions.

The 30% Club campaign was launched in Great Britain in 2010 by the British financier Dame Helena Morrissey with the goal of achieving 30% women on the boards of FTSE 100 companies. The target was achieved in September 2018 and the current female share of board seats for FTSE100 companies is 37.1% and 34.5% for FTSE350 companies.

CEOs and chairs of some of the largest companies in the world, such as Warren Buffet, CEO & Chair of Berkshire Hathaway, Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock and Emma Walmsley, CEO of GSK are all members of the 30% Club.

Poland is the 18th Chapter of the 30% Club.

Ann Cairns, Global Chair of the 30% Club and Executive Vice Chair of Mastercard, said: "I am so pleased Poland has joined the 30% Club. I thank the distinguished founding members and partners for supporting this important initiative that truly has the power to improve corporate culture and make better decisions to the benefit of companies, the economy and society. Diversity in governance is a business imperative for any company."

30% CLUB POLAND

30% Club Poland aims for women to represent at least 30% of management and supervisory boards combined in 140 of the largest Polish listed companies by 2030. The campaign also has an intermediate goal of a threshold of 20% female participation in the governing bodies of WIG20, mWIG40 and sWIG80 companies by 2025 and the absence of all-male boards among those companies.

At the end of 2020, the share of women on boards of companies from the WIG20, mWIG40 and sWIG80 indices was only 15.5%.

30% Club Poland started its activity thanks to the involvement of 13 founding members who signed up to the campaign's objectives and agreed to promote it (listed alphabetically): Katarzyna Byczkowska, Managing Director of BASF Polska; James Van Bergh, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Benefit Systems; Andrzej Antoń, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Blue Media; Aneta Kocemba, Managing Director, Credit Suisse Warsaw; Andrzej J. Kozłowski, President of the Management Board, CEO, Emitel; Jarosław Szymczuk, Country General Manager, IBM Poland and Baltics; Bartosz Ciołkowski, General Manager Poland, Czech Rep. & Slovakia, Mastercard Europe; Julien Ducarroz, President of the Management Board of Orange Polska; Paweł Przewięźlikowski, President of the Management Board, Ryvu Therapeutics; Dominika Bettman, President of the Board and director of Digital Industries, Siemens Poland; Krzysztof Walenczak, General Director, Société Générale Branch in Poland; Piotr Misztal, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Summa Linguae; and Jacek Świderski, President of the Management Board, Wirtualna Polska.

Founding member Julien Ducarroz, CEO at Orange Polska, said: "I believe that we can tackle the challenges ahead only with open culture. And open culture must mean diversity. Data proves that diverse teams are more effective and work better. This applies to all levels of the organization, from the frontline to the management board. There are still stereotypes and barriers that we have to fight. And it should be our joint fight, to create a supportive environment and promoting talents. I am proud that Orange is part of this much needed initiative, encouraging greater diversity in top business management."

INVESTOR GROUP

30% Club Poland has also launched an Investor Group – a working group of institutional investors who have committed to promoting the initiative.

The group consists of: Aegon PTE, NN Investment Partners TFI and Noble Funds TFI.

Milena Olszewska-Miszuris, Co-Chair and initiator of 30% Club Poland, said: "Institutional investors have an important role to play in achieving diversity on corporate boards. I am pleased that representatives of our Investor Group intend to raise issues related to the low participation of women in management boards and more often include women in nominations for independent members of supervisory boards."

A WIDE RANGE OF SUPPORTERS

To join 30% Club Poland, please email: poland@30percentclub.org. 30% Club Poland does not have a legal form and does not collect fees. In conducting its activities, it benefits from the help of supporting companies. These are (listed alphabetically): ACCA Poland, CMS, Impact CEE, M + G Sp. z o.o. Sp.k.; Polish Economic Institute, PwC, Signium, The Way and UN Global Compact Network Poland.

Aleksandra Gren, Co-Chair 30% Club Poland, said: "Polish women are one of the most entrepreneurial women in Europe, very aware of their contribution to GDP growth. It is high time for corporate boards in Poland to strengthen their ranks with more women leaders. Women’s representation on boards today is still low compared to the United Kingdom and the US. I am very happy that the 30% Club has decided to invest and expand its activities to Poland. I trust that, as usual, Poland will positively surprise and overdeliver."

AMBITIOUS DEVELOPMENT PLANS

Under the leadership of the Global Chair of the 30% Club, Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chair of Mastercard, the campaign is expanding and is now present on six continents. Poland was another natural candidate for expansion in the region.

It is now possible to join the 30% Club as a global member. For more information, email Laura@30percentclub.org.

Aleksandra Włodarczyk, initiator of the 30% Club Poland, said: "We are just launching the campaign in Poland, but we have ambitious development plans. We believe that only those organisations that foster truly inclusive cultures - cultures that embrace women - can reach their full potential to positively impact their people, their markets and their communities. That is why we want to engage as many stakeholders as possible. We invite everyone interested in supporting diversity on boards to contact us."

ENDS

Notes to editors

About 30% Club Poland: The originators of the idea to launch the 30% Club in Poland were Milena Olszewska-Miszuris and Aleksandra Włodarczyk.

The start of the campaign was possible thanks to many months of voluntary work of several people related to financial markets and business.

The campaign ambassadors are (listed alphabetically): Mirosław Kachniewski, President of the Management Board of the Polish Association of Listed Companies; Justyna Matuszak-Leśny, Partner at ESB Legal; Katarzyna Piasecki, founder of ENNBOW; Andrzej Pośniak, Managing Partner, CMS; and Ewa Sowińska, Partner in ESO Audit.

More information: https://30percentclub.org/about/chapters/poland

You can watch 30% Club Poland Launch June 9, 2021 at 10.00 CET here

Further information on 30% Club Poland: Beata Cioczek Senior PR Manager, M+G Tel. +48 (22) 416 01 02, +48 508 385 432 e-mail: beata.cioczek@mplusg.com.pl

Further information about the 30% Club globally: Laura Whitcombe 30% Club Global Campaign Manager e-mail: laura@30percentclub.org or media@30percentclub.org