French asset management company AXA IM has joined the 30% club to ramp up efforts regarding best practices in gender equality.
Signatories of the 30% club shall commit to publicly support increasing numbers of women on boards; support initiatives to build the pipeline of women for executive and non-executive roles; and assist in recruiting and spreading the word to key influencers.
Currently 36% of AXA IM’s management board are female, with 50% of the investment functions led by women. The company has signed the Women in Finance charter and is therefore committed to improve female representation within their global senior executive population by 2020.
Last year, AXA IM launched a Mix’In Perspectives strategy that invests in companies with ‘best in class’ diversity practices. The manager said it has also taken part to the 30% Investors Group, in which investors work together to engage on a collaborative basis with companies that lag behind peers on gender diversity. The group also supports the efforts of investee companies in promoting diversity as a strategic issue.
Andrea Rossi, CEO of AXA IM, said: “We are convinced that to achieve sustainable gender balance at all levels, we must work to effect change, especially in the asset management industry that has traditionally been male dominated. The 30% club impressed me with the work they are doing in our industry; the visibility and attention that their campaigns have attracted and the dialogue it has stimulated amongst senior business leaders and the government.
“I also liked that they address building the female talent pipeline broadly – working from schoolroom to boardroom. I look forward to collaborating with our peers to share best practice, learn from them and drive progress collectively.”
“We must attract more women into our workforce, and support them as they progress in their careers. I can see first-hand the benefits of having a diverse senior leadership team, as we have strong female representation here at AXA IM2, and I am keen to build further on this and correct gender imbalance in our workforce. To that end the AXA IM Management Board members have a specific performance objective on diversity and inclusion to ensure delivery on our commitments.”
Rossi added: “As long-term active investors we are influencing boards to support the push for diversity throughout all levels of the company and will exercise our voting rights to underpin our engagement on this important issue. In addition to engaging with companies on gender topics, we will be using our votes to send a clear message to companies which continue to underperform on gender diversity at board level. We see it as a key component of governance and therefore closely linked to our efforts and ambitions as a responsible investor and a responsible employer.”
AXA IM had €746bn of assets under management as of 31 December 2017.