Michelle Scrimgeour
A Chief Executive Officer’s perspective

We have come such a long way since I started my career in the City. I remind myself of that when I look around and see that we still have further to go in all aspects of diversity and inclusion.

As the Chief Executive of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), I have a fantastic management team who are 50% female. This is important to me because in my career I’ve witnessed the benefits of more balance in a workforce (different perspectives, wider talent pools, stronger innovation) and I’ve seen what women as individuals can bring. I believe that we should try to lead by example and so I’m proud that at LGIM, we have successful and thriving colleagues as role models: I try my best to be one of them.

As a company, it’s also important that we’re playing our part in changing culture in an industry that has traditionally been viewed as male dominated. We all know that culture is critical, or diversity and female inclusion just won’t thrive.

There has been real progress in normalising and celebrating gender diversity in senior leadership roles in recent years.

However, I’m impatient for more and see the following actions as critical in taking us further, faster:

  • We need to galvanise investors to use their voting powers to press for this change with a two-pronged benefit – gender representation and increased accountability. The power of investor action and voting cannot be overestimated.

  • Executive teams need to learn how to apply fresh, holistic thinking to their working and hiring structures to remove barriers that inadvertently block women’s progress through their senior leadership pipelines.

  • Data disclosure should be a priority for all listed companies given its importance in the market. We must establish robust and transparent data as it is used to set aspirational targets against which to improve, but also to build voting and engagement policies.

How we continue to tackle change requires further debate and collaboration. Through engagement with policymakers and regulators, investors can bring pressure to bear that will help us to go faster in securing futures for women in leadership roles. In my view that is not only good for women in the workplace, it is also good for business.