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EWSDGE will be attending the Sports Direct International AGM today

(09.09.2015) EWSDGE will be attending the Sports Direct International AGM today. According to the Davies Review 2015, Sports Direct International is currently in 79th place of the FTSE 100 companies with regard to female representation on its Board, with one female and 6 male members representing 14 per cent. The percentage of senior female managers is better with 32 per cent, the company’s UK workforce being made up of 46.4 per cent females   (Annual Report 2015 p. 29). So – there appears to be a blockage at the most senior levels. ‘Why are there not more women on your Board?’

Professor Jones will be asking the Chair of Sports Direct International:

  1. Can you elaborate on concrete and imminent plans for increasing Board posts (both executive and non-executive Board members);
  2. In what ways are you targeting women in your ‘Success Factors Talent and Capability Development Programme’ rolled out in 2014 as outlined in the Annual Report 2015 p. 29?; and
  3. How are women nurtured and networked to attain the highest Board positions in your company?

Professor Jackie Jones is national coordinator in the UK for the EU funded project “European Women Shareholders Demand Gender Equality” (EWSDGE), President of the European Women Lawyers Association and Professor of Law. EWSDGE are attending nearly 100 AGMs in 11 member states of the EU asking questions about female representation on company boards.

BACKGROUND

Initiated by the German Women Lawyers Association (djb), the project “European Women Shareholders Demand Gender Equality” was awarded a grant in 2014 by the European Commission (together with 16 other European projects) under the PROGRESS program. It is co-funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), the Ministry for Justice and Equality of Saxony-Anhalt and the Finland Chamber of Commerce.

The project partners include, along with the djb, the four women lawyers organizations, European Women Lawyers Association (EWLA), EWLA Bulgaria, Association Française des femmes juristes, (AFFJ), Hungarian Women (Advocate) Lawyers Association, the Finland Chamber of Commerce and the University of West of England. The Ministry for Justice and Gender Equality of Saxony-Anhalt is hosting the closure event and the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences is responsible for evaluation.

The project connects with the German project “Women shareholders demand equality – Increase the number of women in management positions, especially on Supervisory Boards of German listed companies”, funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and continues throughout Europe. In the course of the German project from 2009 to 2013 djb members as well as other shareholders have attended 300 annual general meetings of listed companies exercising their information right. The answers from the Supervisory and Executive boards to all questions on women in management position in the companies have been analysed and published in four studies.

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