AXA Investment Managers has set a 33% gender diversity target on the boards of listed companies in developed markets. The company also plans to require public companies in Japan and emerging markets to have at least one woman on their boards or 10% for larger boards.
According to AXA IM’s Head of ESG Research and Active Ownership Yo Takatsuki, the targets are designed to hold the boards of directors accountable to best governance standards. He also said gender-diverse boards prevent groupthink problems and lead to greater profitability.
AXA IM said it may vote against companies that fail to meet the gender diversity targets. The fund manager has voted against 230 board resolutions in 186 shareholder meetings for the year that ended in May due to gender diversity issues. It opposed resolutions due to gender diversity problem in 45 companies in 2018, and in 245 companies in 2019.