In Brief

Investors warn top firms on lack of women in the boardroom

Some of the UK’s biggest firms told that shareholders are ‘restless’

Some of the country’s biggest firms have been warned that their shareholders are getting “restless” about the lack of women on their boards.

The Investment Association told listed companies including BP, housebuilder Persimmon and travel firm Tui they may face investor revolts because they have so few women in leadership roles. The Association’s fund managers own one third of all shares in the FTSE index.

The organisation has written to 14 FTSE 100 companies, 35 FTSE 350 businesses and 21 firms in the FTSE 250 asking them to explain their poor gender balance, The Guardian reports. The letter also demands improvements.

Legal & General Investment Management, one of the biggest investors on the stock market, also warned the firms, saying it will vote against the chairs of all FTSE 350 companies this year if their boards are not at least 25% female.

Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association, said: “A number of key investors have told us that they will vote against AGM resolutions on the grounds of gender representation.

“With the AGM season now in full swing, companies who are falling short should take urgent steps to outline what they plan to do to increase diversity.”

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