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Gender diversity is good for business

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The 2019 edition of the CS Gender 3000 report looks at the link between gender diversity and superior company performance and how this is evolving over time.

To drive real change business, investors, policy makers and other stakeholders need access to quality data. That's exactly what the Credit Suisse Research Institute is contributing to the discussion on gender diversity in business. The CS Gender 3000 report provides unique research on the gender diversity mix within the governance and executive leadership teams of over 3,000 companies across 56 countries.

While the research has traditionally been on the impact of increasing the number of women on boards, additional factors are now in focus. For example, the impact of women in senior management where executive teams are driving the day-to-day business and ultimately profitability.

Family owned companies

The 2019 report looks in detail at gender diversity and family owned companies. It shows how family owned companies, with at least 10% women executives, have out-performed male only companies by around 410 basis points per year since 2014. 

Aligning career and family

We know aligning career and family can be challenging. The research continues to show that having children can negatively impact a woman's career and earnings power. Is this something business can tackle alone or do these socioeconomic challenges need a macro perspective and collaboration that includes government?

The gender pay gap

From the Gender 3000 companies we see that men earn more than women in all regions and the gender pay gap is a result of well-established differences in gender representation by occupation.  What will it take to close the gap? We say, to drive meaningful change, it needs policy makers and employers to play a role in challenging the status quo and improving the socioeconomic framework.

Good progress for women, but still a way to go

Gender diversity in the boardroom has doubled during the decade to over 20%, a clear positive for governance. Additionally, the proportion of women in management has risen to 17% from 14% in the 2016 study. Regionally, North America (21%) and APAC (19%) reflect greater management diversity than Europe (17%). This is perhaps unexpected given the regulatory and policy focus upon quotas in the boardrooms in many European countries. North America and APAC have seen women in management increase more organically.

However, the spill over from this trend into the most senior executive positions has been limited. Barely 5% of the CS Gender 3000 companies have female CEOs, and less than 15% female CFOs. Roles held by women remain clustered away from operational decision making. A third of all "shared services" functions are held by women. 

About the CS Gender 3000 report

The Gender 3000 report series, published by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, provides unique and comprehensive information on gender diversity within the governance and executive leadership teams of over 3,000 companies. The research now stretches across 56 countries and covers 30,000 executive positions. It analyzes the number of women in senior management positions and how this is changing over time, by region and industry sector. The report authors are Richard Kersley, Eugene Klerk, Anais Boussie, Bahar Sezer Longworth, Joelle Anamootoo Natzkoff and Darshana Ramji. Contributors are Akanksha Kharbanda and Amit Phillips.

About the Credit Suisse Research Institute

The Credit Suisse Research Institute is Credit Suisse's in-house think tank. The Institute was established in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis with the objective of studying long-term economic developments, which have – or promise to have – a global impact within and beyond the financial services sector.

The article was first published here.

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