Finance

Fidelity pledges 45% of board roles to be held by women by 2024

Fidelity International pledged to bolster the number of women in senior roles across its business over the next three years — part of wide-ranging corporate sustainability plans which also bring forward its net zero goal by a decade.

The $787bn asset manager has set a target to have 45% of boardroom positions held by women by 2024, up from 44% in these roles at the end of last year.

Fidelity also aims to have 35% of global senior management roles held by women in three years’ time, which would mark a three percentage increase on last year’s figure. In addition, it wants women to make up 45% of its global workforce by 2024 — a two percentage point rise on current figures.

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The diversity targets come after Fidelity recently published its voting principles and guidelines, where it warned companies in developed markets it will vote against management where they fail to have at least 30% female board representation.

In those markets where standards on diversity are still developing, Fidelity said it will vote against management where women do not make up at least 15% of boards.

The diversity targets are outlined in Fidelity’s corporate sustainability report, published on 2 August, which also include plans to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 — 10 years ahead of its previous goal of 2040.

Fidelity said it will prioritise the avoidance and reduction of emissions through improving energy efficiency of its offices, responsible business travel and the use of renewable energy.

It also plans to reduce its energy consumption and waste by 25% and increase its recycling rate by 80% compared to 2019 figures.

Fidelity said it will implement ESG monitoring across its supply chain, including monitoring for 90% of its high-risk suppliers and a plan for 95% of tenders to include at least one diverse supplier.

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Anne Richards, Fidelity International chief executive, said: “The last 18 months of the pandemic has seen us pivot our entire business to allow for working from home across all our 27 locations globally while still delivering on our strategic priorities.

“What we have learned is that we can be more ambitious and do far more than we ever imagined was possible, even during a pandemic.”

She added: “Our aim is to apply that same thinking to the climate challenge and sustainability issues more broadly and I am delighted that we have been able to bring forward our net zero ambition and progress in a range of other areas from supply chain management to diversity and inclusion.”

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email David Ricketts

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