Employers’ group names 400 women for boardrooms

How many seats should belong to women? Keystone

Switzerland has at least 400 women who should be serving on Swiss boards of directors, according to the Swiss Employers’ Association. On Tuesday it published their names in a press release.

This content was published on April 21, 2015 - 16:10

The association, which says it wanted to do something to help promote qualified women, compiled the listExternal link with the help of project partners. In fact, 200 of the women are already serving on boards.

In a 2013 study prepared in cooperation with zCapital, the association reported that 84% of the public companies it questioned had said they wanted to try to increase the number of women on their management boards. At Swiss companies, the proportion of women serving on a board of directors has grown by 50% since 2010. Currently, the average is around 15%. Experts believe the figure will be 30% by 2020.

Voluntary efforts to get more women on board have been fruitful, says the association. With this list, it hopes to help companies meet their own targets.

The Swiss government, meanwhile, wants to introduce a gender quota for Swiss companies listed on the stock exchange. If it goes through, companies would have to ensure that at least 30% of managers and board members are women – or men, if it happened that 70% of the executives were women.

Business associations as well as the conservative right Swiss People’s Party and the centre-right Radicals are against quotas. The centrist Christian Democratic Party would welcome a better representation of women, but suggests that companies set their own targets. The left-wing Social Democrats stand behind the target ratios for both sexes.

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