Monday, 17 December 2012

ABI update on Board Effectiveness - updates on Diversity and more

The ABI pushed out their Board Effectiveness update recently, which remains thematic rather than broad-brush, so I hoped to take something significant out of it, particularly around Board Diversity, which they have touched on before in a rather clunky manner, reflecting the uncertainty around the topic (specifically the gender element) last year when it was brought to the fore politically by Lord Davies report amongst other works

Diversity - apparently impossible
without symmetry...
 Staggeringly, the terms "Board Diversity" and "Gender Diversity" continue to be interweaved, which flies in the face of recommendations around "diversity of perspective" (p8, then reinforced by Chairs on p18), which of course needn't be constrained by gender any more than class, race, age or all-round Manx rugged handsomeness...maybe not the last one then :-(

That said, the statistics have clearly improved over the year on overall female Board representation, despite some recent high profile FTSE 100 CEO resignations leaving things at the Executive end somewhat less positive. Some benchmarks included on what "good" looks like in the context of disclosures and gender diversity policies, with M&S (what we're doing) and Vedanta (why we can't do it) representing opposite ends of the inclusivity spectrum while remaining concise. Good stuff on examples of gender diversity policies and affirmative action from p31-33 as well.

The ABI have also picked out the trend of using existing relationships with remuneration consultants/auditors to spin-off independent Board evaluation work to, and have recommended that it cease, and be replaced by something more independent (hmmmm, wafer thin market and lack of independence - sound familiar to anyone in IMAP?)

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