As explained in the FY18 Annual Report, David Adams will have served nine years this year which means his term of appointment came to an end in the spring of 2020. However, as detailed above, David has agreed to stay until the end of 2020 to ensure continuity for the Board through the COVID-19 pandemic. Further details can be found in the Corporate Governance Report. Whilst David continues to act as a Non-Executive Director, he will cease to act as Senior Independent Director at the AGM on Tuesday 15 September 2020 when Helen Jones will be appointed to cover this position. The search for a new Non-Executive Director will continue in FY21 with the expectation that a replacement will be appointed during the autumn/winter of 2020. Odgers Berndtson has been appointed as advisors to the Committee in the search for the external candidates for this role. The process is being led by myself, as Chair, together with the Committee. Odgers Berndtson does not have any other connection with the Company.
The Group's Diversity Policy ("Diversity Policy") sets out our commitment to eliminate discrimination and to encourage diversity and equality across the Board of Directors and amongst all our colleagues, irrespective of their gender, race, ethnic origin, disability, age, nationality, national origin, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, religion, beliefs and social class. The Board has not considered it necessary to set a formal target for including diversity on the Board. In addition, half of our Board is female and we are in excess of the recommended target published by the November 2017 Hampton-Alexander Review. Our Diversity Policy applies to all our activities, including our role as an employer and as a provider of services, ensuring that no colleague, potential colleague, customer, visitor or contractor will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, race, ethnic origin, disability, age, nationality, national origin, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, religion, beliefs and social class. The Company does not currently publish specific diversity targets but, in practice, we have created a more balanced and diverse Board and Executive Team. We continue to work to monitor these issues across the entire business.
Further information regarding Board diversity can be found in the Directors' Report and Corporate Governance Report.
As a Board, we consider succession planning each year in respect of both Director roles and our senior management team. Our senior Executives have well developed skills and experience to fulfil their roles, but we know that these have to be constantly updated as new challenges arise. A key factor in making better decisions is that we have a diverse range of Directors, Executives and colleagues throughout the business. Accordingly, we monitor our diversity and gender positions each year and are able to identify where we will benefit from changes and improvements.
We expect our monitoring activities to continue in future and this will ensure that the leaders within our business are best equipped to deal with the challenges ahead and ensure the long-term success of the Group.
Chair of the Nomination Committee
6 July 2020