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gender diversity at work Number of women in top jobs stagnates

Has anyone seen the women?


An annual report on the number of women in top positions at Switzerland’s biggest companies says barely any women joined management boards in 2015.

The Swiss executive headhunter Guido Schilling looks at the numbers and positions of women in the top companies in Switzerland every year, this year 119 companies were featured. In the 2016 report, Schilling said that only 4% of new members of management boards were female.

The number of women on these boards had stayed the same as the previous year, at 6%. Back in 2005, the first year the report was published, that figure was 4%. In the latest survey, Schilling re-affirmed his position that gender diversity in top roles in companies is something that involves a “generation” change.

“It will take years for the female talent on the lower and middle management level to make the jump to management boards,” he said in a statement released alongside the report on Tuesday.

Schilling added that investing in ambitious women would pay off in the long term”, as these companies would have a wider talent pool in ten years’ time.

The report also analyses the number of women on supervisory boards. Of the new members, 23% were women, fewer than last year (33%), but overall the share of women on non-executive boards increased to 16%, a small increase on the previous year, and up from 9% in 2009.

The survey compared the gender diversity situation in Switzerland to that in Germany, where a gender quota of 30% women was introduced for supervisory boards at the largest companies at the start of 2016.

The quotas affect more than 100 listed companies. Schilling said that this created great “public pressure”, and had led him to question whether a quota would lead to more “active development” in terms of gender diversity in Switzerland.

In the last four years the 30 DAX companies in Germany increased the share of women on their management boards from 4% to 9%. Among SMI companies the number had stayed at 6%. and agencies

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