Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

The Investment Association (IA), which represents UK companies with £7.7 trillion in assets under management, has warned 94 companies about their failings to increase the proportion of women in leadership roles above 25%.

The Association has identified 57 listed companies, 11 of which are on the FTSE 100. Shareholder action groups and trade unions are also targeting boards of directors for providing excessive pay schemes to top executives. The GMB union has called on shareholders to block a 44% salary increase for Centrica chief executive Iain Conn. Betting firm Ladbrokes is also expected to come under pressure after awarding its top two executives a salary deal worth £67m.

IA’s Institutional Voter Information Service has given “red tops” or the highest warning to 20 companies for having an all-male board of directors. These include Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, JPMorgan American Investment Trust PLC and Charter Court Financial Services Group. “Amber top” warnings were given to 74 firms including Ocado, Centrica and Metro Bank. IA director of stewardship and corporate governance Andrew Ninian said they will continue to monitor diversity. He explained that investors want to see a more diverse boardroom and that there is evidence that a diverse boardroom makes better decisions.

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