Recent progress in increasing gender diversity on corporate boards and leadership teams has been steady but unspectacular. It has also been far from uniform across countries. Much remains to be done, especially when it comes to raising the very low percentage of women in powerful senior executive roles.
The first Global Gender Diversity report published by Altrata — and the third powered by BoardEx data — examines the level and nature of female representation on the boards and leadership teams of more than 1,675 major publicly traded companies across 20 countries around the world as of the first quarter of 2022.
We shine a spotlight on female board representation, highlighting cross-country similarities and differences, and changes over time. We also examine gender diversity at smaller US and UK-listed firms, board members’ age and the higher education institutions they attended, as well as the differing public policy measures taken by governments, such as mandated quotas. For first time, using insights from Wealth-X (another Altrata company), we detail how gender diversity on boards compares with that among the wealthy.
The Impact of Quotas on Gender Diversity
This years report reveals on average, gender diversity on boards is greater in countries with mandated or voluntary quotas around gender. Across the nine countries in the Global 20 that have such quotas, women account for 31% of board members, compared with an average of 25.9% in the 11 countries with no such requirements.
Gender Diversity by Sector
Real-estate companies account for give of the top 20 firms by female leadership-team representations. But, in general, corporations in the two rankings are drawn from a wide range of sectors, including media and entertainment, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, financial services and technology.
Gender Diversity Across the Globe
Across the Global 20, female representation on leading corporate boards is greater than it was a decade ago. But gender diversity in the boardroom varies widely between countries, and BoardEx data reveals clear leaders and laggards. At 44% among CAC 40 companies, France had comfortably the highest share of female board members in the first quarter of 2022, ahead of Italy and the UK with just under 40%. Boards in Sweden, Australia and the Netherlands also had more than 35% female representation.