In 2018 we meaningfully increased our engagement with our Focus List on the diversity profile of their Board, management teams and broader employee base. This work continued in 2019. in 2019, we engaged with 34 companies specificaly on gender diversity in 2019. the vast majority of these discussions received a positive reception from our companies, as many of them acknowledge the importance of this topic and the journey they are on.
We are very early in our engagement efforts and it is too soon to claim any direct impact, but we would note that in 2019, 27 of our Focus List companies increased the number of women on their boards*. We are encouraged by this trend, as well as the response to our evolving engagement efforts.
*This is based on the 100 Focus List companies that were on our Focus List for the whole of 2019 – i.e., it does not include removals and new additions during the year. Twenty-seven companies increased the number of women on the board, while in five cases the number of women decreased.