Women in leadership equal better performance - across the globe


Data from Australia and now the UK, shows that no matter what side of the world you're on, having women in leadership positions leads to better company performance.  These findings draw on the Women Count 2020 (UK) report, released on 31 July 2020 and the BCEC WGEA 2020 Gender Insights report released in June 2020.


Women Count 2020

Pipeline, July 2020

Women Count 2020 is the fifth report by UK based Pipeline, which tracks the number of women on executive committees and main boards in FTSE 350 companies.

The report found that companies with women in senior leadership roles are more profitable, better innovators and more respected in their fields, says Hon Theresa May, former UK Prime Minister in her foreward.  It also found that the failure to develop and promote women into CEO or C-Suite roles has serious consequences, not least for profitability, The report reveals five key themes

1. Lost profits when a company has less women leaders

FTSE 350 companies are missing out on sizeable profits through a failure to appoint more women to key executive roles. The profit margin for companies with no women on their executive committee is a paltry 1.5%, for those with 1-25% it is 6.9%, and for those with 26-49% it is 10.6%. For companies with 50% or more women on their executive committee the net profit margin climbs impressively to 12.5%.

2.  The UK is going backwards in gender diversity.

There remains a woeful lack of women Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in the FTSE 350. Last year, there were only 13 female CEOs in the FTSE 350, with the situation remaining abysmal and still at 13 women. This represents a mere 5% of FTSE 350 company leaders.

3. Preparing women for the next level – a broken springboard

Women hold just 10% of P&L roles that sit on FTSE 350 executive committees, an extremely concerning level of representation for future prospects of arresting the decline in numbers of female CEOs in the FTSE 100, let alone beginning to make advances on improving gender diversity at the most senior corporate level. The importance of women occupying P&L roles is evident in GENIE™ data, with over half of all respondents across numerous organisations agreeing that you can’t get to the top without significant budgetary responsibility.

4. Worrying signs amid the green shoots of progress

While there has been progress in getting more women onto FTSE 350 Executive Committees, with an increase of 2.7% since 2019, with this slow rate of growth gender parity on won’t be achieved until 2032.

5. COVID-19 is the end of the beginning

The report asserts that it's already clear that things will not, cannot and should not return to business as usual following COVID-19. The questions everyone should ask themselves are"what have I learned from this experience? What do I need to do differently to make us better?"

BCEC WGEA Gender Equity Insights 2020

WGEA/BCEC June 2020

The 2020 report published by WGEA/BCEC found a compelling link between female leadership and profitability, performance and productivity.

Key findings include:

  • More women are holding senior leadership roles across Australian companies than ever before. However, women still remain grossly under-represented as key decision makers
  • Women are least likely to be the Chair of the Board. In 2019, only 14.1% of Board Chair positions were held by women.
  • Board membership is gaining greater momentum, with women constituting around 30% of Board members. However, 29.8% of companies have no female representation on their Board. A similar proportion of companies have no women in their key management teams (refer table below).  WOB advocates that 40% should be the target for ASX.
  • More women in leadership drives better company financial performance -  an increase of 10 percentage points or more in female representation on the Boards of Australian ASX-listed companies leads to a 4.9% increase in company market value,


Gender 2020 Report Report (UK),Pipeline, July 2020

BCEC WGEA Gender Equity Insights Report, WGEA/BCEC, June 2020



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