Big Business Fails to Promote Women to Top Jobs

Just one in 10 recently appointed leaders at large companies was female 09 March 2021 Big Business Fails to Promote Women to Top Jobs

Attracta Mooney of the Financial Times highlighted that the world’s biggest companies are still recruiting far more men than women for top jobs despite long-running campaigns by shareholders, policymakers and other groups to improve gender diversity at all levels of business.

A quarter of the largest 500 companies named a new chief executive or executive chair in the past two years, but only one in 10 of those appointed were women, according to SquareWell. In total, just 5 per cent of top jobs at big companies are held by women.

Ann Cairns, global chair of the 30% Club, has commented to Attracta “I cannot believe that anyone could look out there and see that we have 95 per cent of the world’s best companies run by men and think they are all the best people for the job”.

“It is no longer credible that there are not enough women who have the leadership traits, talent and skillset to be the CEO of a global company,” said Deborah Gilshan to Attracta, an adviser on investment stewardship and ESG issues.

Luca Giacalone, ESG adviser at SquareWell, said the slow progress in female CEO appointments was “likely a result of a combination of not having robust selection criteria from boards and the limited number of women candidates who are currently in roles that would naturally lead to such promotion”. But added that a growing push by investors to look beyond board diversity to senior management should “help address the inequality”.

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