Pressure is building to improve the gender balance of Chairs at the top of our leading companies and organisations. This is an objective of the UK’s government-sponsored Hampton-Alexander Review, as well as the 30% Club and many similar initiatives internationally.
Fidelio has been a vocal champion for (i) a better understanding of the Chair role and (ii) a stronger pipeline, including through our Chair Masterclass and "A Seat at the Table" programmes.
Although there has been progress towards diversity at the Non-Executive Director level, the number of women in the Chair role remains stubbornly low. And while opening up the pipeline for the Chair role has been a focus – for example, overcoming the too often unchallenged requirement for previous FTSE100 Chair experience - there has been less questioning of the role itself and how it is changing.
Both our Search and Evaluation assignments have identified a considerable increase in the complexity of the Chair role. Much of this is linked to corporate purpose and a shift from a narrow definition of shareholder value to stakeholder value, giving rise to ESG investing.
Fidelio is confident that an honest debate about the role specification for the Chair will in and of itself attract a broader range of highly suitable and talented candidates.
To read about the role of the Chair and how it is changing, click here.