Jupiter, Old Mutual and Legal & General are among the fund managers to have made commitments to vote against board appointments at companies which do not have enough female executives.
And the 30% Club, which is campaigning for FTSE 350 boards to be 30 per cent made up of women by 2020, has called on more investment companies to follow suit.
The organisation said Newton Investment Management, the Environment Agency Pension Fund, RPMI Railpen and Eden Tree Investment Management have also signed up to the pledge to vote against board appointments at firms showing no progress.
The 30% Club held a roundtable event at the London Stock Exchange headquarters this morning to discuss issues around female representation.
Brenda Trenowden, chair of the 30% Club, told City A.M.:
This isn’t a social or equality issue, this is very much a financial and a profitability issue. And, from the fund managers’ standpoint, a real stewardship and governance issue.
Because the sense is that from all the research we see, we believe feel that boards that encourage cognitive diversity through appropriate gender representation, a broad spectrum of skills and experience, will get a better ultimate outcome for investors, and certainly a better long-term, sustainable outcome.