Aviva plc: ‘Promote women or else’

Since 2012 this blog has been pointing to the strong evidence of a causal link between increasing female representation on corporate boards, and financial decline.

The private sector continues to accede to demands for more women on boards, and the government is known to be seeking gender parity on FTSE350 boards, threatening gender quota legislation if necessary – a tactic hailing back to the 2011 Davies Report, which resulted in the proportion of women on FTSE100 boards doubling from 12.5% in 2011, to 25% by 2015. Virtually all the female directors appointed over those four years shared something in common with the existing women on FTSE100 boards, being appointed as non-executive directors.

Much of the drive for more women on boards comes from manipulative ideologically-driven sexist women in senior positions. A case in point. Aviva plc is a British multinational insurance company headquartered in London. It has around 33 million customers across 16 countries.

Aviva has 13 people on its board, including three women, all of whom are non-executive directors. Shockingly, both the chairman and the senior non-executive director are grey-haired white men.

It gets worse. All the board members are white. If a board with few female directors (or none) is evidence of the ‘glass ceiling’ (i.e. anti-female sexism) – as proponents for ‘more women on boards’ claim, or imply – then (by the same logic) an all-white board must be evidence of racism. The company should be ashamed of itself. Customers and shareholders should desert it in droves.

From yesterday’s Sunday Times, a short piece by Aimee Donnellan titled, “Aviva: ‘Promote women or else'”:

Aviva has threatened to terminate contracts with suppliers that fail to promote women to senior roles.

Sarah Morris, human resources boss at the insurer, has issued the warning to more than a dozen subcontractors – thought to include recruitment firms, catering suppliers and specialist providers of insurance services.

In a letter, she stated that the company’s suppliers were “critically placed to drive the change that is needed in future talent pipelines” and that “publicly backing” women’s initiatives would give them a “competitive edge”.

The warning was aimed at suppliers that had failed to sign up to gender equality initiatives such as the 30% Club campaign and the Women in Finance charter drawn up by Virgin Money boss Jayne-Anne Gadhia.

Morris told The Sunday Times that Aviva had had some positive responses to the letter, [hopefully some responses told her to stick her letter where the sun doesn’t shine] which was sent two months ago, but the insurer would be “willing to consider ending our ongoing relationship if our partner firms don’t share our values on this”.

Morris is on the steering committee of the 30% Club, which wants FTSE companies to ensure one third of directors are women.

Her warning was sent with the blessing of Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson. The insurer was the first British company to pledge women would comprise 30% of its executive committee by 2020.

Sarah Morris, the Chief People Officer – personnel manager – sits on the (all-white) Group executive committee. The associated web page also has the manipulative harridan’s photograph:

Mark Wilson, the blithering idiot at the head of the company, is pictured here:

Mark Wilson

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