9 August 2021
On 28 July 2021, the FCA launched a consultation (CP21/24) on proposals to improve transparency for investors on the diversity of listed company boards and their executive management teams. The proposals address the lack of standardised and mandatory transparency in this area by establishing better, comparable information on the diversity of boards and executive management against the background of a growing interest in ESG matters in investment decision-making, as well as wider social concerns. The FCA's aim is to promote greater diversity and inclusion on boards over time.
The proposals would amend the: (i) Listing Rules to require listed companies to publish annually a 'comply or explain statement' on whether they have achieved certain proposed targets for gender and ethnic minority representation on their boards and data on the gender and ethnicity composition of their boards and most senior level of executive management; and (ii) Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules to require companies to ensure any existing disclosure on diversity policies addresses key board committees and also considers broader aspects of diversity, such as ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and lower socio-economic background.