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Diversity statements

We aim to have a Board that represents a wide range of backgrounds, skills and experiences. We also value a diversity of outlook, approach and style in our Board members. We believe that a balanced Board is better equipped to consider matters from a broader perspective and therefore come to decisions that have considered a wider range of issues and perspectives than would be the case in a more homogenous Board.

Diversity is not simply a matter of gender, ethnicity or other easily measurable characteristics. Diversity of outlook and approach is harder to measure than gender or ethnicity but is equally important.

A Board needs a range of skills from technical adherence to governance or regulatory matters to understand the business in which we operate. It needs some members with a long corporate memory and others who bring new insights from other fields. There needs to be both support and challenge on the Board as well as a balance of gender and commercial and international experience.

When selecting new members for the Board, we take these considerations into account, as well as professional background. A new Board member needs to fit in with their fellow Board members, but also needs to provide a new way of looking at things.

Women on Boards 

In 2012, we stated that our expectation would be that by 2015, 25% of our Board would be female and we have met this expectation.

During 2016, 27% of our Board was female. However, with the departures of Julie Brown and Brian Larcombe from the Board and the upcoming appointment of Graham Baker as the new Chief Financial Officer, this percentage will drop to 20%.

We have always recognised that the number of Board members will fluctuate from time to time and that we would not necessarily expect to replace any retiring Director with a new Director of the same gender. We have continued to appoint our Directors on merit, valuing the unique contribution that they will bring to the Board, regardless of gender.

We are still committed to the principles of diversity and would aim to meet or exceed the expected target of 25% of the Board being female as future appointments are made.

Looking forward, we shall work towards a Board with 33% being female in line with the Hampton-Alexander Review.

Compliance website

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Smith & Nephew has a strong reputation for integrity and ethical conduct. Our name and products are trusted everywhere around the world. Our Compliance website contains our legal and ethical principles for carrying out business and applies both to employees and to others who act for us

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