SJP pressed by Investment Association over male dominated board

Investment trusts also feature heavily among companies targeted

The trade body for UK fund managers and the Hampton Alexander Review have written to 69 companies on the FTSE 350 index, including St James’s Place and investment trusts, to raise concerns about the gender composition of their boards.

Companies being asked to improve the number of women on their boards include Daejan Holdings, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels and the TR Property Investment Trust – all of which have no women on their boards.

“Most companies have made great progress in gender diversity in their boardrooms and senior executive leadership,” explained Sir Philip Hampton, chairperson of the Hampton-Alexander Review.

But there’s a surprising number of boards with just one woman, which looks more like tokenism than diversity. It also does not reflect the population of very talented women capable of making great contributions in boardrooms.”

The letter asked companies to detail the work they are doing to ensure that they meet the UK government-backed Hampton Alexander targets of 33% women on their boards and leadership team by 2020.

“It’s clear that some old-fashioned attitudes to the role of women in the workplace still linger in some of the boardrooms of our biggest companies,” said Rachel Reeves, chairperson of the UK parliamentary Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.

“The low numbers of women in executive positions can only hinder progress: gender pay gaps are highest in sectors with some of the lowest numbers of women executives,” she added.

“The time for our biggest companies to remedy the lack of gender diversity is long overdue and they need to set out what actions they are taking to make progress. The role of investors is important here too and they need to assert themselves to ensure that diversity is reflected more visibly at board level.”

Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association, added: “Investors have been consistently clear that they want to see greater diversity in the boardroom so it is totally unacceptable that one in five of the UK’s biggest companies are falling so far short.”

The full list of companies is as follows:

One Woman Boards (66)

  • St James Place Plc
  • 3I Infrastructure Plc
  • 888 Holdings Plc
  • Acacia Mining Plc
  • Alliance Trust Plc
  • Amigo Holdings Plc
  • Avast Plc
  • Baillie Gifford Japan Trust Plc
  • BCA Marketplace Plc
  • Cairn Energy Plc
  • Caledonia Investments Plc
  • Capital Counties Properties Plc
  • Centamin Plc
  • Charter Court
  • City of London Investment Trust Plc
  • Clarkson Plc
  • ContourGlobal Plc
  • Diploma Plc
  • Dominos Pizza Group Plc
  • Edinburgh Dragon Trust Plc
  • Edinburgh Investment Trust Plc
  • Energean Oil & Gas Plc
  • F&C Commercial Property Trust Ltd
  • Ferrexpo Plc
  • Fidelity China Special Situations Plc
  • GCP Infrastructure Investments Ltd
  • Grafton Group Plc
  • Greencoat UK Wind Plc
  • Greene King Plc
  • Harbourvest Global Private Equity Ltd
  • Herald Investment Trust Plc
  • HG Capital Trust Plc
  • HICL Infrastructure Company Ltd
  • Hill Smith Holdings Plc
  • Hilton Food Group Plc
  • Hochschild Mining Plc
  • IP Group Plc
  • JD Sports Fashion Plc
  • JPMorgan American Investment Trust Plc
  • JPMorgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust Plc
  • JPMorgan Japanese Investment Trust Plc
  • Jupiter European Opportunities Trust Plc
  • Just Group Plc
  • Monks Investment Trust Plc
  • Pantheon International Plc
  • Personal Assets Trust Plc
  • Plus500 Ltd
  • Primary Health Properties Plc
  • Rank Group Plc
  • Restaurant Group Plc
  • Riverstone Energy Ltd
  • Schroder Asia Pacific Fund Plc
  • Softcat Plc
  • Stobart Group
  • Syncona Ltd
  • Telecom Plus Plc
  • Templeton Emerging Markets Investment Trust Plc
  • Tritax Big Box REIT Plc
  • Vietnam Enterprise Investments Ltd (VEIL)
  • Witan Investment Trust Plc
  • Worldwide Healthcare Trust Plc
  • Apax Global Alpha Ltd
  • Civitas Social Housing Plc
  • NB Global Floating Rate Income Fund Ltd
  • Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund Ltd
  • VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund Ltd

No women boards (3)

  • Daejan Holdings plc
  • Millennium and Copthorne Hotels plc
  • TR Property Investment Trust plc

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