Companies’ policies on gender balance
How do companies propose to improve their gender balance now and in the future?
Many companies include gender balance targets in their policies, but are they effective? Photograph: iStock
Q What is the company’s policy on the gender balance of its board of directors and board sub-committees?
“The board recognises and embraces the benefits of diversity among its own members, including diversity of skills, experience, background, gender, ethnicity and other qualities, and is committed to achieving the most appropriate blend and balance of diversity possible over time.
To this end, the board approved a board diversity policy during February 2015 which stated that the board’s aim, with regard to gender diversity, was to ensure that the percentage of females on the board reached or exceeded 25 per cent by the end of 2016 and thereafter. That target was achieved during October 2016.”
“C&C continues to recognise the importance of ensuring diversity (including gender) and the key role that a diversified board plays. As such, in assessing candidates for appointment to the board (and its sub-committees), in addition to considerations of their relevant experience, employment background, skills, knowledge and insight, due regard is given to the benefits of diversity. While diversity at board level is extremely important, we also recognise that diversity extends beyond the board and focus on ensuring the wider workforce is as balanced as possible.”
“The board believes that diversity is an essential foundation for building long-term sustainability in business and introduces different perspectives into board debate. This philosophy forms an important element of our succession planning when considering new appointments to the board. Whilst it is the group’s policy to ensure the best candidate for the position is selected, the board will continue to ensure diversity is taken into account when considering any new appointments to the board.”
The group’s diversity and inclusion policy is an integral part of the group code of conduct ensuring that diversity and inclusion are embedded in Kerry Group’s core values. The board believes in the benefits of having a diverse board and the benefits that it can bring to its effective operation. Differences in background, skills, experiences, nationality and other attributes including gender, are considered in determining the optimum composition of the board and with the aim to balance it appropriately. All board appointments are made on merit, with due regard to diversity.”
Q What specific plan does the company have in place to either ensure its ongoing gender balance at board level or improve the representation of women on its board?
“Two of our 12 non-executive directors are female. We plan to increase this to three before the end of 2017 and to four by the end of 2018, which will take us to more than 30 per cent of female non-executive directors. Our policy on board appointments is to prioritise talent but aim for a minimum of 30 per cent female membership.”
“CRH is committed to fostering respect in the workplace and to developing an inclusive workforce based on merit and ability. In 2016, 18 per cent of our employees were female. The building materials industry traditionally attracts more male than female employees and our diversity programmes are aimed at increasing social diversity, not only of employees, but of the pool of talent available to take up opportunities in CRH.”
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“We are committed to working towards achieving our target of at least 33 per cent female directors and have implemented measures to ensure this is delivered by considering non-executive director candidates from a pool wider than just FTSE 100 listed companies, ensuring long lists of potential non-executive director candidates include at least 50 per cent female candidates, and by only engaging with executive search firms who have signed up to the Voluntary Code of Conduct in relation to board appointments.”
“Gender balance on Tullow’s board is a part of the group’s ongoing effort to address the lack of gender and national diversity across senior management in Tullow. A diversity plan has been developed and good progress has been made so far but more remains to be done. We are confident that diversity, particularly at senior levels, will materially improve due to these efforts over the coming years.”
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“The board recognises the importance of diversity, including gender, in the boardroom and seeks to recruit directors with varied backgrounds, skills and experience. Whilst recognising the importance of diversity in the board’s composition, it is the board’s policy that board appointments be made on merit – judged against objective criteria – which takes into account the skills, experience and expertise of candidates rather than by the setting of specific targets.”