Bishop of St Albans highlights Church investor pressure on companies without female directors

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.