It’s great to see that British boards are optimistic about the future, given the double whammy of the pandemic and Brexit on UK firms. From a gender diversity perspective, boards are starting to reach targets, which is very pleasing to see.
Unfortunately on the ethnic diversity front, the picture is not yet so rosy. The intentions are there, but the progress is slow. Intentions also exist to address the pay gap, but reporting on the ethnic pay gap progress might prove to be a bit challenging.
The awareness by boards of the increased risk in Climate Change and Cyber Risk has grown significantly, which is much needed and welcomed, especially with regards to Climate Change, to try to move the dial. All hands are required on deck now to attempt to turn intentions into real actions and results. All in all, the Bellwether survey is a very useful tool to temperature check the current status quo and get a better understanding and insight into what might be current trends, what action and work still needs to be done and perhaps even what might be on the governance and boardroom horizon. Definitely worth a read.
The FTSE 350 Boardroom Bellwether is a twice-yearly survey by the Financial Times and The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland that seeks to gauge the sentiment inside British boardrooms. It canvasses the views of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 company secretaries to find out how boards are responding to the challenges of the economy, market conditions and the wider business and governance environment.
Questions cover a range of business concerns, topical issues and specific governance matters to provide unique insight into what British boards are thinking. Some questions change from survey to survey, but the core remains the same to reveal trends and shifts in opinion.
According to The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland, it should be noted that no Boardroom Bellwethers were produced in 2020 because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The key findings of the summer 2021 Boardroom Bellwether Survey, which took place in August 2021 and was published in November 2021, are shown below.