Asset Managers Demand Action on Gender Diversity

SquareWell Partners cited in Financial Times's article on the increasing focus on diversity from asset managers 02 March 2020 Asset Managers Demand Action on Gender Diversity

The Financial Times reports that Columbia Threadneedle and RBC Global Asset Management are stepping up their efforts to improve gender diversity at public companies, pledging to vote against board directors of businesses that are failing to promote women to top jobs. Columbia Threadneedle, the $494bn asset manager, is planning to target companies with a lack of women in senior leadership, an extension of its policy targeting board diversity laggards.

Clare Payn of the 30% Club Investor Group, which advocates for more women in business, said the research for diverse boards and leadership teams was compelling. A study last year by Credit Suisse found that companies with more women in senior management yielded superior returns. “It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s also the best thing for a business,” she said.

The Investment Association, the UK trade body whose members oversee £7.7tn in assets, wrote to almost a fifth of FTSE 350 companies about their lack of gender diversity on their boards and executive committees, calling on them to outline what actions they are taking to improve the gender balance in their leadership teams.

SquareWell’s data was cited in this article, highlighting that a third of the world’s 30 largest asset managers have a public policy on gender diversity on boards.

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