While there is no dispute that having a better gender balance is good for business, it has been hard to get things going, says Helena Morrissey, chief executive officer, Newton Investment Management Ltd. Speaking the session ‘The New World Order ‒ What is the 30% Club and how are CEOs involved in this initiative?’ at the CFA Society Toronto’s ‘Getting to Alpha: The Competitive Advantage of Gender Strategy,’ the founder of the 30% Club described the beginnings of the organization and its progress. It was started in 2010 at a time when only 12.5 per cent of board members on FTSE 250 companies in the UK were women and half of the boards then were women free. Today, she said that number has reached 23 per cent and the number of all male boards has gone from 131 to 24. And she said this was done by businesses on their own. She attributed part of the success to approaching chairmen of boards at seven companies who believed in the business case for gender diversity. Their leadership helped to broaden the focus and change perceptions. There is now an opportunity for a dramatic leap.
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