Friday news roundup March 8, 2019

Friday news roundup March 8, 2019

UK’s biggest companies accused of lying about being unable to find female and minority directors

Charlotte Valeur, chair of the Institute of Directors has said that she would start calling for new laws to force firms to improve their diversity next year if FTSE 350 companies don’t accelerate their progress. Valeur commented: “I will be very unpopular with FTSE 100 [companies], but I don’t actually mind, because it’s not true that it’s difficult.” Whilst many businesses have raised concerns that they have difficulties finding women with the right experience for director roles, a lot of these are also failing to promote women internally. Since joining the IoD in September, Valeur herself has restructured the board which now has a 50/50 split of men and women, and 30% are not white. “Talent of all kinds is out there, but you have to consciously look for it,” Valeur said.

Increase in students seeking help for mental health problems

According to figures obtained by HuffPost UK, the number of students accessing mental health support at top universities has increased by 76% on average between 2012-13 and 2017-18. A recent study conducted by The Insight Network and Dig-In of 37,500 students has also revealed that 7,500 of the participants had a current mental diagnosis. 12,500 students also said they experienced a serious psychological issue for which they felt they needed professional help. Rachel Piper from the charity Student Minds commented that: “Every university has a different student population with different needs,” and, according to policy experts, assessing a university’s mental health provision purely in terms of expenditure may not reveal the full picture.

Airlines doing too little in the battle with climate change

According to the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), the fast-growing aviation sector accounts for two percent of world greenhouse gas emissions and should do more to in the battle with climate change. The TPI reviewed 20 of the world’s biggest listed airlines and rated Delta, Lufthansa, United Airlines and ANA Holdings as the best performers when it comes to managing business risks and opportunities of climate change. Despite this ranking, all airlines could do more such as producing more fuel-efficient planes, using biofuels more widely and ensuring that planes fly at full capacity. In contrast, ANA, Japan Airlines, Korean Air and Singapore Airlines all have the highest emission intensities.

Find World of Labor articles on the gender divide, the economics of mental health and environmental regulation and the labor market.