Progress towards gender equality in corporate world remains slow

13 March 2020

Financial metrics improve with the presence of women in management, according to findings from RobecoSAM.

Its paper Seeking gender balance inside and outside of the boardroom showed despite this benefit, progress was slow.

The research noted in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2020 forecast it would take 257 years at the current rate to close the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity.

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That same report stated only 36% of women were in senior positions, facts which were supported by findings from RobecoSAM.

The RobecoSAM report showed that having more than 20% of women on the board, more than 30.2% in management and more than 44.7% in the total workforce had a positive relationship with firms’ returns.

The research said: “Often, improving gender balance in corporates is focused upon the lack of women holding board seats.

“However, the regression analysis also illustrated a positive link between a higher percentage of women in management positions and firms’ profitability, returns and earnings volatility – all characteristics of a firm’s quality and health of its operations.

“This highlights the importance of promoting gender diversity, and with particular attention to the composition of management teams.”

The research showed although that despite a higher percentage of women on the board contributes to financials, the correlation between the proportion of woman in the workforce, versus in the various management levels, still suggested there was a glass ceiling.

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