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Among the audience of a debate over whether quotas would be the best way to improve diversity of trustee boards, 44% of the audience said yes, rising from 35% before the debate.
The motion of this year’s debate, organised annually by professional trustee firm Law Debenture, was: “This House believes that increasing diversity and inclusion on pension trustee boards is best achieved through use of quotas.”
Has the voluntary approach worked?
Speaking for the motion were , co-founder of mallowstreet, Redington and 10000 Black Interns, and Laasya Shekaran, a consultant at LCP. They challenged the audience to consider why all the talk about diversity is yet to lead to meaningful change, arguing that the introduction of quotas would hold pension trustee boards accountable for improving diversity.
“Change is simply happening far too slowly and whatever we’re doing at the moment, just isn’t working. Introducing quotas is the quickest way to accelerate our industry towards achieving that goal of improved diversity” said Laasya.
Speaking against the motion were , who heads up the pensions department at law firm Travers Smith, and , a responsible investment manager at provider Scottish Widows. Gerring argued that “what you see is only a tiny portion of what each of us is… put plainly no quota can capture who I am, nor who any of us are”.
Vicky Paramour, managing director of LawDeb’s pensions division, who chaired the debate, said it as heartening to see a large and engaged audience consider “one of the most important questions facing our industry today”.
Are you for or against quotas to improve trustee diversity?