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PLSA launches diversity initiative

03 March 2017

Image for PLSA launches diversity initiative

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has launched a campaign to improve diversity on trustee boards.

Breaking the Mirror Image, aims to broaden the range of perspectives on UK governance boards.

It will first look at gender diversity, broadening to include other forms of diversity in the future.

The PLSA says the pensions industry still has some way to go before it achieves more diverse representation at board level.

For example, the make-up of governance boards is currently 83% male, but the PLSA says a wide variety of studies have shown that a range of experience and perspectives is crucial to good decision making for its members.

Lesley Williams, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association chair, said the new initiative was important her on a personal level, as well as to the industry.

"We've been interested in diversity on corporate boards for some time through our corporate governance work; but with an increasing political and social focus on diversity this is the right time for the Association to stimulate and support diversity in our own industry," she said.

"Our campaign begins by looking at gender, but there are many elements to consider if we want truly representative and diverse trustee boards – gender, race, age, disability, sexual orientation, and social class."

A collection of essays, 'Breaking the mirror image: harnessing talent through diversity for better pensions', launched this week and marks the beginning of the campaign.

The move was welcomed by Pensions Minister Richard Harrington, who said he is determined to see greater gender balance in the financial sector.

"I welcome this initiative and practical support for companies from the PLSA," he said.
"A balanced workforce is good for businesses, their workplace culture and for investors. Firms with a good gender balance in senior positions and across teams perform better, and therefore attract the best talent."

First published 03.03.2017

Lindsay.sharman@wilmingtonplc.com