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Firms fall short on gender diversity.

DOMINO'S Pizza, JD Sports and Greene King are among dozens of firms to have been admonished for a lack of gender diversity on their boards.

The Investment Association, a trade body, and the Governmentbacked Hampton-Alexander review have written to 69 companies on the FTSE 350 index about the poor representation of women in the board room.

The letter calls on the companies to meet the review's target of having 33% of women on their board and leadership team by 2020 and asks what steps they are taking to meet the goal.

Of the firms singled out, 66 have only one woman on their board, while three firms - property investor Daejan Holdings, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels and TR Property Investment Trust - have an all-male board.

The move comes after the Investment Association, whose 250 members manage PS7.7trn of assets, announced in February that it would brand companies with a "red top" warning for investors in a bid to pressure companies to appoint more women.

The Investment Association's boss Chris Cummings said that it is "unacceptable" that one in five of the UK's biggest companies are falling short on gender diversity.

"Companies must do more than take the tokenistic step of appointing just one woman to their board and consider that job done," he said.

"There is also compelling evidence that boards with greater gender balance outperform their less diverse peers. These companies must up their game and explain clearly how they are planning to meet the Hampton-Alexander targets, or risk investor dissent at their AGM (annual general meeting)."

Other companies on the list that only have one woman on their board include St James's Place, 888 Holdings, Just Group, Acacia Mining, Stobart, and Restaurant Group.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 15, 2019
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