Women at the head of large Swiss companies - Switzerland comes in at the bottom of European rankings

EQUALITY

The situation has improved slightly, but the top executives of the groups listed on the Zurich stock exchange are very few – Switzerland is at the bottom of European ranking

Women at the head of large Swiss companies - Switzerland comes in at the bottom of European rankings
© CdT

Women at the head of large Swiss companies - Switzerland comes in at the bottom of European rankings

© CdT

Women continue to be under-represented at the top of large Swiss companies listed on the Zurich stock exchange.

In 2016 the share of women on the boards of directors of the companies included in the SMI guide index was 21%, this year the percentage increased to 28% according to a study published today by the consulting and recruitment company Russell Reynolds . The only group to have a female president is Swatch, with Nayla Hayek at the helm.

In 2020 only 11.5% of SMI companies and just 7.8% of those in the SMIM extended list women. None of the 20 SMI companies are led by a woman and only the cement producer Lafargeholcim has one as its financial director, Géraldine Picaud.

In the ranking of the most virtuous companies in this sense, the insurer Zurich stands out, having a 27% share in the management committee, followed by Credit Suisse (25%), Novartis (23%) and Lafargeholcim (20%). At the bottom of the ranking are companies such as Swisscom, Swiss Life, Sika and SGS, which have no women on their boards.

The situation is only slightly better if we consider the approximately 50 companies listed on the enlarged SMIM index. Only the chemical group Ems Chemie has a woman as CEO, Magdalena Martullo-Blocher, while Bucher has Manuela Suter, as financial director the study shows.

Ems-Chemie has a 33% female share in the steering committee and is followed by the Oerlikon industrial group (25%) and Bucher (22%). The vacuum valve manufacturer VAT, the real estate company Swiss Prime Site and the lift and escalator manufacturer Schindler, on the other hand are totally male.

Switzerland at the bottom of the European ranking
Despite the overall improvement in the situation, Switzerland is still lagging behind other European countries. The most virtuous in terms of gender diversity in management are the Norwegian companies with a female share of 27%, followed by those of Sweden (24%) and the United Kingdom (23%). Switzerland, with its 11.5% share in the steering committee, is at the bottom of the ranking, behind Italy (12%) and Germany (14%). France has a 20% share.

In Switzerland, the position of middle managers is becoming increasingly feminine. If this year's growth rate is maintained, the boards of directors of the 50 largest companies will have a female share of 30% in about two years, noted Matthias Oberholzer of Russell Reynolds.

Swiss companies should therefore be able to strictly comply with the legislation which, for listed companies with at least 250 employees, provides for 30% shares of women on the boards of directors and 20% among managers.

©CdT.ch - Riproduzione riservata

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