On 5th March 2019 Baroness Nye asked the Government “what steps they are taking to address the gender pay gap.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, this week the Church Investors Group, which has assets of £21 billion, will vote against the chairs of boards of big firms that have poor policies on tax and climate change. From now on, the 67-member group will put pressure on companies that have no women directors. Does the Minister agree with that approach? Does she also agree that it is a welcome step that companies can no longer get away with such dire records of female representation in management positions?
Baroness Williams of Trafford: I certainly agree with the right reverend Prelate. He will recall that we had a real push to increase women’s representation on boards under the Davies review. When we started off, that representation was something like 12% and it has now risen to over 30%—I think that that is where we are now, or maybe it is just short of 30%—so we have made huge strides. I do not think that companies any longer want all-male, white boards, because that really does not give the diversity or balance that is representative of society.