The official inauguration of the 30% Club in Poland, an international initiative promoting gender diversity in business, took place on 9 June 2021. For Benefit Systems issues of equality, inclusion and diversity are very important. Therefore, as one of the first Polish public companies, we joined the 30% Club initiative, supporting the increase in the representation of women in the boards of companies listed on the stock exchange. One of the founding members of the 30% Club Poland is James van Bergh, founder of Benefit Systems, currently the chairman of the company’s Supervisory Board.
James Van Bergh: Gender diversity is an important part of the wider diversity issue at the senior level of companies. A more diverse management and supervisory board means a wider range of experience, knowledge and competences, which in turn leads to better decision making and a high corporate culture. It is also more representative of the company’s workforce, customer base and community. More diverse government bodies support the organisation in achieving its full business potential and creating value for all stakeholders. Gender diversity in companies plays an important role in building a socially responsible business as well as a fairer and more sustainable economy.
The 30% Club was launched in 2010 in Great Britain on the initiative of the British financier Helena Morrissey whose aim was to achieve a 30% share of women in the boards of companies from the FTSE100 index. This goal was achieved in September 2018. In the following years, the heads of the largest companies in the world joined the 30% Club.
Why 30%? The 30% threshold has its origin in the critical mass theory, where it has been defined as the minimum percentage of the population at which the minority’s votes begin to influence the majority’s decisions.
The main goal of the 30% Club Poland
One of the most important postulates of the 30% Club Poland is to achieve at least 30% female representation on management and supervisory boards combined in 140 of the largest Polish listed companies by 2030. The intermediate goals include 20% female participation in the government bodies of companies from WIG20, mWIG40 and sWIG80 companies by 2025 and the absence of all-male boards among those companies At the end of 2020 the share of women in the boards of WIG20, mWIG40 and sWIG80 companies was only 15.5%.
Emilia Rogalewicz, Management Board Member at Benefit Systems: Market analyses indicate that if the dynamics of growth in the presence of women in managerial positions across the globe does not increase, reaching parity will take up to 30 years. Such forecasts not only stimulate the imagination but also show how important it is to take specific initiatives in this regard. We are glad that we have joined the initiative promoting equality and diversity because these values are close to Benefit Systems and the B Corp movement which we belong to. I hope that the 30% Club campaign will increase awareness of the positive impact of diversity and gender equality on companies’ operations and business decisions permanently changing the corporate culture in our country.
Participation in the 30% Club Poland consists in achieving measurable goals in the field of gender diversity in company boards and supporting women in their careers. Male and female presidents of management boards as well as chairmen and chairwomen of supervisory boards of public companies or companies with more than 100 employees may join the initiative.
As Benefit Systems and the 30% Club Poland member we will undertake activities promoting the idea of this initiative.