Amra Balic
Managing Director and Head
of EMEA Investment Stewardship

The work is not done, we all know that. When it comes to dialogue and engagement with companies, it’s important to keep the foot on the accelerator. Progress is not linear, but we have seen meaningful changes which are a result of market level initiatives rather than regulation. The Hampton-Alexander Review has been a game-changer in this space.

We have observed more conscious efforts from companies to help women develop, thrive and seize opportunities to grow their careers. This has required more deliberate programmes from companies, and we are starting to see this pay off with more women in senior roles.

It is very easy to say we are done because progress has been made, we clearly can’t afford to say that. This conversation started well over a decade ago around women on boards. Since then an important development has been the focus on the importance of pipeline. So, we asked ourselves the question: where is the pipeline going to come from? Companies must work on recruiting women, supporting them through their careers to get to those leadership positions and work to retain them once they get there.

We should also reflect and see what we have learned, because the tools we need for future progress, over the next five or ten years, may be different from those that have helped us get to where we are today. So, it’s about finding and striking that balance between reinforcing the progress that has been made, and the need to continue.