Counting every woman: A snapshot of female representation on boards | Gender Diversity Report

November 2014 – With so much focus on diversity on the boards of big companies, we wanted to drill down into diversity across the financial markets by comparing 11 different sectors of the capital markets including banks, asset managers, hedge funds, investment banks and pension funds.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, financial markets are doing even worse than companies in the FTSE100 when it comes to gender diversity: women hold just 19% of board positions and 15% of ex-co roles, which is lower than the 23% female representation on boards and 16% on ex-cos of FTSE 100 companies.

The highlights of the report are:

  • Only one in five board directors at companies and institutions in European capital markets are women, and fewer than one in six of executive committee members are female.
  • There is a big difference in levels of diversity between boards and executive committees – for example, at banks, average female representation on boards at 26% is more than double the level son executive committees of just 11%. The focus of governments, regulators, policymakers and lobbying groups on boards has not yet had an impact on the most senior levels of management.
  • The headline averages disguise a wide range of diversity between the different sectors in our sample – average female representation on executive committees is lowest at 8% for investment banks (with private equity and hedge funds on 9%), rising to more than one quarter for pensions funds (27%) and trade bodies (28%).
  • Companies and institutions in countries with mandatory quotas or a “comply or explain” approach to targets have better gender balance, and listed companies perform better than private institutions.
  • One fifth of organisations in the capital markets in Europe have no women on their executive committees, and the most common figure for the percentage of women on both boards and executive committees is zero.

Read the full report here.

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