Administrative Boards are Becoming Continually More Female

For the first time, there is at least one woman in all administrative boards of SMI companies. Other companies are further along. There is a reason for this.

Bilanz | May 20, 2019

The Bilanz article, “Administrative Boards are Becoming Continually More Female,” featured the firm's research. The article is excerpted below.

Women are clearly in the minority in the largest businesses quoted on the stock exchange. But Switzerland is making progress in this area. In 2019, there is at least one woman in all administrative boards of the 20 companies represented in the SMI leading index.

Overall, 55 of the 206 administrative board members of SMI companies are now female, as evaluated by the personnel consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates. The share of women has, it is stated, increased from 21 to 27 percent within two years.

On the other hand, the share in other countries such as, for example, Germany, is already over 30 percent. There and in other countries, however, companies were obligated by statute to accept more women, as Russell Reynolds wrote in the ccommunication.

State Council Committee in Opposition

In this country, the Legal Committee of the Council of States argued against such a step just last Friday. By 6 to 5 votes, with 1 abstention, it moved to waive gender guidelines in the corporate law revision.

Prior thereto, the National Council had narrowly voted in favor, 95 votes to 94, with 3 abstentions. Pursuant to the guidelines, each gender should be represented with a share of at least 30 percent in the administrative board, and of at least 20 percent in management.

According to the Committee, the entire lower chamber can again concentrate on the business. In the context of the revision, a decision will be made not only on the share of women, but also on provisions in transparency in the services of voting rights consultants or the introduction of a capital base.

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Administrative Boards are Becoming Continually More Female