International Women’s Day – Why Gender Diversity Matters More Than Ever

Boards are becoming increasingly aware of the value that diversity brings in terms of effectiveness. The extent of the problems facing society, business and the planet is extraordinary and verging on existential. Ensuring access to the best possible talent in leadership roles is vital. Intractable problems remain intractable unless different perspectives are introduced.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we think of women in leadership roles with the influence and power to shape the future. We also think of women who too easily become the victims of war.

In the past year Fidelio has continued to play a dynamic role in ensuring that talented women have a seat at the top table. We were recently accredited by the UK’s FTSE Women Leaders Review (formerly the Hampton Alexander Review) for the fifth year running for our contribution towards achieving gender balance on Boards and leadership teams.

It’s critical to keep up pressure on progress and visibility. The FTSE Women Leaders Review has recently announced new recommendations for 2025, including women’s representation on FTSE 350 Boards & Leadership teams to increase to a minimum of 40% and one women in the Chair, Senior Independent Director, Chief Executive Officer or Finance Director role of FTSE 350 roles.

Fidelio is actively supporting these goals through our Board Search capability in the UK but also internationally. Indeed, over the past year over 50% of our placements (Executive and Non-Executive) have been female.
Over the past decade we have collaborated with female business leaders in Germany to ensure both the UK and Germany make progress towards greater gender balance in the Boardroom and will continue to do so in the year ahead.

Fidelio is also pleased to support and encourage our clients to enhance their own awareness and leadership with regard to diversity and inclusion. We hosted the innovative leadership programme “A Seat at the Table” in 2021 and are delighted that Alumnae of the Programme have moved into both Executive and Non-Executive leadership roles. We have also been pleased to support Private Equity investors to develop the diversity and effectiveness of their portfolio company Boards globally.

Our recent research into the “Future of Work and the Role of the Board” also looked closely at the potential impacts of different working arrangements on diversity and inclusion and we were delighted to kick off this important initiative last year with Julia Gillard AC in a Diversity Roundtable for Chairs.

As you can see, for Fidelio, increasing gender balance in leadership roles has an impact well beyond ticking governance boxes. This is particularly true with regard to climate change and as Fidelio champions climate change competence in the Boardroom, we note that female Board Members frequently have a significant appetite for learning and are also powerful advocates.

In these troubled times it’s important to double down efforts on diversity. We are delighted to see the celebrations for International Women’s Day, and we also remember the many women who are suffering. Diversity at the top table – and access to the best talent – is sorely needed.

Drive Diversity in Your Boardroom

Fidelio is committed to increasing diversity, including gender diversity, across Boards and leadership teams. To learn more how we can support your Board through Search, Evaluation and Development, please contact Gillian at gkarrancumberlege@fideliopartners.com
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