Is the tide starting to turn?
I’m sure most people reading this blog post have heard about (and maybe even taken part in) the criticism of the recent Peloton ad. It’s quite something for a company that makes exercise bikes to have produced a short video that’s been widely described as “sexist and dystopian”.
What’s more interesting, though, is that the market appears to have taken note, with the company’s value dropping by more than £1 billion in the backlash to the ad. As it’s also the case that the board of TSB recently had their bonuses docked for failing to meet their gender balance targets, it may be that institutional investors are finally starting to take gender issues seriously.
If they are serious about asking firms about diversity questions, one of the next logical steps (at least for investors with the courage to do it) would be to withdraw funds from those companies who are not giving them the answers they want to hear. In particular, those who are not serious about closing the gender pay gap.
This could mean they turn against firms such as, already struggling GAM Investments, who are structured in such a way that although they employ more than 250 people in total across the UK, they are not required to report their gender pay gap – and refuse to do so voluntarily.
I must admit I look forward to seeing what happens next.