Independent external board evaluations emerged in parallel with the general development of the governance code for companies. The question now arises whether their current shape is fit for purpose in the modern corporate environment, where society/CSR and employee engagement are playing an increasing part in the context of a company’s right to operate and accumulate numerous benefits and advantages from society?
The sustainability of companies and businesses able to contribute and benefit all of their stakeholders, is increasingly at the forefront of the minds of Politicians, Regulators, Society Pressure groups and Individuals. It is also the clarion call of the massive Pension Investment sector focused on aligning investments to positive benefits and stewardship for society.
In the UK, a quota was imposed following the 2011 publication of the Davies Report, which set a target of 25% females on FTSE 100 Boards by 2015 – which was achieved. The subsequent Hampton-Alexander Review (both INSEAD alumni) upped the target to 33%, but, more importantly, reinforced the Davies’s aspiration to drive such targets deep into the FTSE 350, with a focus on the development of a pipeline of women leaders destined for the executive committee.
LEAD magazine recently interviewed Syreeta Brown winner of the Black British Business Award. In the article, she discussed her career progression, what the award meant to her and her role on Advanced Boardroom Excellence's Panel of Influential Women. She also talked about how Advance Boardroom Excellence focused on individual and collective director effectiveness.
Helen Pitcher OBE has been quoted in HR Magazine’s latest issue.
The latest HRMI rankings were compiled in a significant year for the profession, with those making the lists demonstrating the skills needed to deal with the big HR issues hitting the news.
This time last year the name Harvey Weinstein was only just crashing onto the news agenda. Gender pay reporting had yet to reach its frantic, last-minute (for some) filing crescendo. The collapse of Carillion and the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) new corporate governance code were both still in the offing.
Congratulations to our Chairman Helen Pitcher OBE for her recent appointment as Chairman of the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
She will be Chair of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) from 1 November 2018 for 3 years. Helen will initially commence as a Commissioner, on a Chair Designate basis from 1 October 2018.
It really is time our industry had a Code of Practice for Board Evaluations. Companies need guidance to get through these troubled times. So it was good news to read that the Business Secretary Greg Clark announced – as part of the insolvency safeguards – measures to develop a code of practice for external board evaluations. (see press release).
Boards are supposed to prevent anything that could cause harm to a company, but some still fail. Stephen Jones writing for Management Today paints a dark picture of our current state of British Boards. Leading industry experts (including Helen Pitcher OBE) offer explanations of what is causing Boards to fail and what can be done to rectify the problem.
There is increasing pressure on boards’ to plan their own succession as well as oversee the executive pipeline, with a strong focus on diversity. This stems from the need to create sustainable businesses with a positive, transparent culture that can be ‘passed on’ through generations of CEO and board transitions, and societal pressure for greater diversity in boards and companies to mirror their customer base and the host society. While the notion of having a ‘social licence to operate’ is in its infancy in Europe, there is an increasing need for businesses to show they are good corporate citizens, with lobby groups focused on fair tax payment, customer and employee advocacy, custodianship of the environment, and positive social impact.
Written by Helen Pitcher OBE, for INSEAD Knowledge Career Blog
Changing careers at mid-life is an option for more and more executives. Some choose early retirement, others are nudged towards the door, and others decide that doing something that they love is more meaningful and they can afford to get off the corporate track.
Becoming a NED is often considered the next logical professional step after an executive role. NEDs gain new skills, enlarge their networks and better understand other industries. But the competition is tough and it can be difficult to land that first NED position.
Changing Times. Helen Pitcher OBE writes about the proposed new UK governance code and its impact. The report is under consultation with a target of having the finalised version available in summer 2018, for implementation in January 2019.
In the 25 years since the Cadbury Report on corporate governance, how have boards been doing? Are boards able to understand and analyse what makes them effective and successful? Can they articulate and illuminate the characteristics of an effective board?
By Helen Pitcher for HR magazine
January is as good a time as any to reassess life and career goals. However, as with nearly all New Year ‘resolutions,’ it is important to ensure it is not a seasonal ‘flash in the pan’.
What is more conducive to effective career planning is a six month rolling review of whether you are achieving your stated goals. This however implies that you have taken time, soundings and articulated your stated goals in the first place! And that you do not review your goals achievement in isolation, but use a trusted mentor, coach or experienced friend to walk through progress and obstacles.
By Katie Jacobs for HR Magazine
While the supply of HR directors looking for NED roles still outstrips demand, the tide is slowly turning.
By Owen Bowcott for The Guardian, 11 Jan 2016
The number of women applying for Queen’s Counsel remains “stubbornly low”, the appointments panel has said, after promoting 25 female barristers and solicitor advocates among a total of 107.
By Becky Frith for HR Magazine, 5 August 2015
The proportion of female first-time FTSE 350 non-executive directors (NEDs) significantly increased last year, according to a report by Korn Ferry.
The firm’s Class of 2014 report, which analysed all first-time NED appointments to FTSE 350 companies, revealed that 39% of first-time NEDs in 2014 were women, up from 28% in 2013 and 11% in 2007
...and stay there. At the latest HR in the Boardroom event, board expert Helen Pitcher shared her top tips for ensuring HRDs are effective at the very highest levels.
By Jenny Roper for HR Magazine, July 2015
“In an ideal world boards should be looking to people with HR skills who can contribute to really important and key areas. In reality they often don’t”.