The United States arm of the 30% Club, a group of Chairs and CEOs committed to better gender balance at all levels of their organisations through voluntary actions, held its first event on 18th June at Bloomberg LP in New York. The conference brought together global industry leaders to discuss ways to accelerate the rate of change and achieve a target of 30% female board members and C-Suite executives in the U.S. by 2020.

At the event, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, head of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, Bloomberg LP Chairman and 30% Club U.S. Chair Peter Grauer, Lord Davies of Abersoch and CEO of Newton Investment Management and Founder of the 30% Club Helena Morrissey discussed the intersection between public policy and private sector initiatives. Other panels addressed cross-company mentoring for
mid-career women, the critical role of executive search firms, constructive engagement by investors and the vital need for measurable goals with deadlines.

There is no question that gender imbalance is a serious problem in so many U.S. organisations, and senior leaders need to take responsibility for that imbalance if real progress is to be made. There are multiple excellent but fragmented efforts already underway in the US, and the 30% Club hopes to provide some cohesion and focus on achieving real, measurable progress – not by ‘fixing the women’ or ‘beating up the men’ but through men and women working together to improve business culture and achieve more diversity of thought at all company levels.

As the 30% Club continues to expand globally, it remains crucial that this is not seen as just a diversity issue – it is also a business issue and a key factor in business success. We are delighted that the 30% Club has launched in the U.S, building on the positive experience of business-led change in the UK and taking a collaborative approach with men and women working together to effect change.