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Members-Only event - WACL NED Talks - 9 March 2015 - Lord Davies and Amanda Mackenzie

Mar 9, 2015 – 7:00 pm

Dear Ladies,

This year will be a milestone for more equal boards.  The Davies Report’s original aim to have at least 25% of women directors on FTSE 100 boards has this year-end as the deadline. Are we close?

2015 is a landmark year for Lord Davies, and for all campaigning for a better balance of men and women on corporate boards.  Both the 30% Club’s original aim to have at least 30% of women directors on FTSE 100 boards and Lord Davies’ minimum recommendation of 25%, have this year-end as the deadline.

The goals are within reach:

  • Since the inception of both these initiatives at the beginning of 2011 the proportion of female FTSE 100 directors has risen from 12.5% to 23% at the last count – a big increase in just four years.
  • There are now no all-male FTSE 100 boards, down from 21 when this started and a massive drop in the number of FTSE 250 companies with no female directors, from 130 to 25.
  • Extrapolating the current rate of director turnover and proportion of new appointments going to women suggests that the end of year outcome will lie somewhere between Lord Davies’ target and the 30% Club’s slightly more ambitious one.

But, are there opportunities to speed things up?  Vince Cable has raised the spectre of Europe imposing mandatory quotas on the number of female directors in British boardrooms, as he pushes for Britain’s largest businesses to swiftly appoint more women to senior positions. Cable said: “Our target of 25% women on boards by 2015 is in sight. However, the threat of EU mandatory targets remains a reality if we do not meet it. If we are to avoid action from Brussels, we must continue to demonstrate that our voluntary approach is the right one and is working.”

Despite the FTSE 100 edging towards Davies’s target, the figures are boosted by the performance of a minority of diverse boardrooms – with most of Britain’s largest listed companies still failing to hit Davies’s goal. In October 2014 six out of 10 of the blue chip index were revealed to have fallen short of the target of women occupying 25% of director roles. The picture among slightly smaller companies listed in the FTSE 250 is significantly worse – only 17.4% of directors there are female, according to the latest official figures. Davies said: “In 2011, British business said they could fix this problem on their own, and I am delighted we are now seeing evidence of this, with more women being picked to serve on the boards of Britain’s biggest companies.  However, the job is not yet done. Strengthening the executive talent pipeline remains the next and longer-term challenge.”

It is our great pleasure at WACL to welcome Lord Davies and our own Amanda Mackenzie to join us for our next WACL NED lunch, where you can put your questions to the man himself and ask what more can and should be done to meet and exceed these targets and what are the blockers to success?  Do join us to share some of your own stories and experiences of getting that first NED role and to engage in a dialogue that can help inform Lord Davies as he continues to work with CEO's and Chairman of the UK's biggest Plc's.

 This WACL NED event will be happening on Monday the 9th of March 2015 at 12:15 until 14:00 and will held at Strutt & Parker, 13 Hill Street, London W1J 5LQ (closest Tube station is Green Park).  This is a members-only event and free of charge, capacity for the room is 20 people so please let me know soonest on Francesca@Ecsery.com  if you would like me to reserve you a seat 

Speaker Biographies

Lord Davies of Abersoch, CBE

Lord Davies is a Partner and the Chairman of Corsair Capital, a private equity firm specialising in financial services.  He has a wide range of interests, including being Chairman of the Royal Academy of Arts Trustees, Chairman of Jack Wills and Chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust.  He was Minister for Trade, Investment, Small Business and Infrastructure from January 2009 until May 2010.

Prior to that, he was Chairman and previously CEO, and served on the Board of Standard Chartered for over 12 years.

He was awarded a CBE for his services to the financial sector and the community in Hong Kong in June 2002 where he served as a member of the HK Exchange fund for seven years.  Lord Davies is also a JP in Hong Kong.

Lord Davies is married with two children and is a fluent Welsh speaker.


Amanda Mackenzie, OBE

Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Aviva plc.

Amanda has been a member of Aviva's Group Executive for 6 years and has responsibility for customer, marketing, brand, corporate & public affairs and corporate responsibility. She is also the executive sponsor for diversity. Amanda joined Aviva to oversee the rebrand from Norwich Union and to set up a global marketing and communications function.

Amanda has a BSc in Psychology from the University of London, is a graduate of the Insead Advanced Management Programme, a Life Fellow of the RSA and Fellow and past President of the Marketing Society. Amanda has over 25 years of commercial experience, including director roles at British Airways Airmiles, BT and British Gas. She is also a non-executive director of Mothercare Plc. and sits on the audit committee.

She has been on the board of the National Youth Orchestra for 7 years. Amanda is a member of Lord Davies steering group to increase the number of women on boards. Amanda was awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Year Honours List for services to marketing.

Kind regards