The 30% Club, or 30 Percent Club, is a group of chairmen of boards who are voluntarily committed to bringing more women onto UK corporate boards. In January 2013 the group said that on average FTSE 100 companies have only 17.3 per cent female representation on boards.
The group lobbies to bring that percentage to 30 per cent arguing that having a better balance – at least 30 per cent of senior female leaders – positively influences a company’s culture and decision making processes.
However, it opposes proposals to introduce mandatory quotas for women representation on boards, preferring to leave 30 per cent as a target.
30% Club in the news
In January 2013 the UK House of Lords held a debate on boardroom diversity, which deplored low levels of female board representation, but rejected EU quotas. In November 2012, the European Union had announced that European companies will be forced to hire a female candidate over an equally qualified male – or face sanctions – unless women occupy at least 40 per cent of their board seats by 2020. EU data showed that women fill only 13.7 per cent of board positions in large listed companies.
There is a lot of variation across different European countries. At the latest count in Europe, women accounted for 27 per cent of the board members of large listed companies in Finland, 26 per cent in Latvia and 25 per cent in Sweden, but only 5 per cent in Hungary, 4 per cent in Cyprus and 3 per cent in Malta.