“Any CEO who ignores the 42 per cent increase in sales [that diversity can provide through better corporate performance] should be shot,” Lynne Featherstone, minister for equalities, said this morning. “It’s not about equality for equality’s sake. It’s about making your company better.”
IBM has appointed Virginia Rometty as its first female chief executive in its 100-year history, Daniel Hadlow writes.
According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, women-owned businesses account for 40 per cent of all privately held companies – which is not too shabby. But only about 3 per cent of all of these companies have revenues of $1m or more, compared with 6 per cent of companies owned by men. According to a study by the Kauffman Foundation, just 1.8 per cent of women-owned companies have revenues above $1m.
Much is written about achieving a work/life balance, particularly in the context of attracting women to the upper echelons of corporate life. In the run up to the FT’s ranking of the top 50 women in world business, I have been asking some of the highest-achieving women in the world whether it is possible to “have it all”.
Norway has the highest level of participation of women in the boardroom than any other country in the world, having introduced a 40 per cent quota in 2003. (The quota became mandatory in 2008.)
To an outsider Germany might seem like a place where women could easily fill high-powered positions, writes Rebeka Shaid. After all, the country is governed by chancellor Angela Merkel, who Forbes recently crowned “the world’s most powerful woman”. Yet last year the German Institute for Economic Research found that over 90 per cent of the nation’s top-100 companies did not appoint one single woman to an executive positions. How can this be?
On October 12, the Financial Times published the next Women at the Top page as part of its flagship project on female business leadership.
Last week, 31-year-old Chelsea Clinton joined the board of internet giant IAC/InterActive Corp, the parent of Match.com and CitySearch. This has sparked a lot of interest from right-leaning op-ed columnists, bloggers and tweeters, who have been quick to throw up their collective hands in horror. Her appointment is easy prey to accusations of cosiness: Barry Diller, high-profile media mogul and IAC senior executive, is known to have supported both Bill and Hillary Clinton’s independent runs for the US presidency.
A new study by Hay Group, the management consultancy, reports that male non-executive directors in Europe’s largest companies are paid an average of 7 per cent more than female non-execs.
As countries around the world set targets to increase the number of women directors in public companies, new research suggests that meeting those goals might be complicated by the fact that male and female board members do not agree on whether board diversity will improve a board’s performance.
According to the research, women and men on corporate boards disagree on the need for quotas and the reasons why fewer women are represented on boards, and whether or not a diverse board matters for good corporate governance.