Women In Top Jobs Not A Priority For Shareholders, MPs Told

Investors are more interested in green issues than gender equality, say company executives

Shareholders are more concerned about environmental issues than promoting women to senior positions in boardrooms and some are not convinced that businesses need more women in top jobs, company executives have told MPs.

At a hearing on women in executive management, the House of Commons’ women and equalities committee quizzed representatives from the water company Severn Trent, packaging company Smurfit Kappa, car parts and bike retailer Halfords, the infrastructure firm Stobart Group and housebuilder Persimmon.

All said investors asked more questions about the environment and sustainability than how to get more women into boardrooms.

Sarah Bentley, the chief customer officer at Severn Trent, whose chief executive is Liv Garfield – one of only six female FTSE 100 CEOs – said some shareholders had yet to be convinced of the benefits of having more women in executive roles.

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