Reach joins 30% Club

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, September 2, 2021

Reach has become the first UK news publisher to join the 30% Club, meaning it has explicitly committed to having at least 30% women on its board and senior management team by 2023, while also committing to greater representation for people of colour.

The 30% Club was launched in 2010
The 30% Club was launched in 2010

Both chairman Nicholas Prettejohn and chief executive Jim Mullen have signed the pledge, committing to act on increasing diversity at the most senior levels of the company.

As part of its involvement, Reach will also take part in the largest cross-company scheme in the world, facilitated by the 30% Club, which this autumn will see ten high-performing women from Reach selected for external mentoring from other member organisations, ranging from Unilever to HSBC.

In turn, Reach will provide ten senior leaders – women or men – to the programme, to act as mentors to women from other member organisations.

Prettejohn said: “Media organisations have a responsibility to represent the diversity of their audiences and joining the 30% Club is an important step to achieving this. Greater leadership diversity will strengthen the business at every level and put it in great stead to face the future.”

Mullen added: “We don’t take targets lightly at Reach, but we’re ready to lead the charge and challenge ourselves to achieve more diversity at the highest level of the organisation.

“For us, this isn’t just about strengthening our leadership, but also unlocking even more talent throughout the business, making this a place where leaders can grow and thrive.”

Ann Cairns, 30% Club global chair and executive vice chair at Mastercard, said Reach was “leading the way in its sector” by joining the 30% Club.

“The media is so important in reflecting the make-up of society and inspiring progress – including within its own workforce and leadership – and has been a big source of support for the 30% Club since we launched in 2010,” she said.

“While there has been good progress on gender diversity on boards in recent years, there is so much more to be done. There are a good number of female newspaper editors in the UK, including the Mirror's Alison Phillips, yet there are still just eight female CEOs in the FTSE 100.

“Diversity in governance is a business imperative for any company, and I sincerely hope other major publishers will commit to at least 30% gender diversity on their boards and senior management teams in the not-too-distant future.”

Reach's eight-strong board currently includes three women, although all are independent or non-executive directors. 

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