BIS Changes Reporting for Gender Corporate Transparency + Gender Balance

Blog by Helen Wells, Opportunity Now Director

 

BIS has announced changes to the reporting of Britain’s largest companies to allow for increased corporate transparency, including reporting on the overall number of women and men within the organisation as well as in senior executive positions.

These amends are a result of BIS following recommendations from Lord Davies’ review, which also resulted in changes to the UK Corporate Governance Code, which came into force on 1 October this year with the crucial “comply or explain” mechanism.We fully support these changes as they will enable investors and shareholders to identify gender imbalances and better understand where the barriers to progression for women are in the organisation.These changes show just how effective the Lord Davies review has been for addressing the progression of women on boards in the UK. Intent is being converted into action, without the need for quotas.
Together, they not only encourage long-term organisational change and the development of talent pipe-lines, but make it easier for shareholders to hold companies to account. This enables investors and shareholders to identify gender imbalances and better understand where the barriers to progression for women are in the organisation.

We encourage shareholders and investors in these companies to deliver on this task.

There is absolute need for greater transparency in how organisations report on workforce metrics and gender equality and diversity. This year, in collaboration with the Home Office, Opportunity Now introduced the ‘Transparency Award’, which recognises organisations that are publicly reporting their progress on gender equality. In addition, we worked on the development of the Think, Act, Report initiative, which asks organisations to identify any issues around gender equality in their workforce, take action to correct them, and report publicly on their results.”

The legislation will come into force in October 2013 at the same time as changes to voting and reporting on pay. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) will consult early next year on improved guidance to help companies follow the new regulations and produce succinct and meaningful reports.
The revised regulations and related documents,