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2019 Engagement Case Study:

Horiba Ltd.

Horiba is a specialist in manufacturing analytical and measuring equipment for the environment, health and safety fields. The company is held in our Environmental Services theme as its biggest business is in manufacturing instruments used in testing motor vehicle exhaust.

Engagement issue
Board-level gender diversity

Engagement Objective
Horiba, like many Japanese businesses, has a management team and board of directors that is dominated by men. We engaged with the company in 2019 to encourage the company to accelerate gender diversity efforts at the company.

Scope and process
The engagement was part of a broader initiative to improve gender diversity at board level across several companies in the WHEB portfolio. During 2019, we voted against Directors on company boards where women made up less than 25% of Directors.

We also wrote to Chairmen at twelve companies, including Horiba. We asked for companies to clarify their approach to gender diversity and set themselves diversity targets for both Board Directors and Senior Executives.

Outcome: Partially successful
Female representation at Horiba remains lower than we would like, with 87% of Board directors being male. Nonetheless, the company is taking proactive steps to foster more diversity through the company. The company has set itself a target to have 20% of managerial posts filled by women by the end of 2020.

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