European & International News

France and Spain make best progress on women on boards due to quotas

[Brussels, 09 December 2011] A recent report by Corporate Women Directors International on women on the boards of the 200 largest companies in the world shows that European countries which have adopted quotas to increase the number of women on corporate boards are moving ahead in changing the face of corporate leadership.

The report ranks France first for the fastest rate of increase, as it moved from 7.2% board directorships held by women in 2004 to 20.1% in 2011. Coming in second is Spain, whose quota law - passed in 2007 - helped to increase its representation of women on corporate boards from 1.9% in 2004 to 9.2% currently. Both countries are among those in Europe that have passed quota laws or legal targets recently, as have Norway, Iceland, Belgium and the Netherlands. In Asia, Malaysia has recently adopted a similar bill.

While quotas are beginning to crack the boardroom glass ceiling in some European countries, the average percentage of board seats held by women in the Fortune Global 200 companies remains a dismal 13.8%.

The Fortune Global 200 companies with highest percentage of women directors are the U.S. retail giant Procter & Gamble (45.6%), followed by U.S. healthcare company Wellpoint (41.7%), and Norway’s Statoil (40%). Other European companies included in the Top Ten are Deutsche Bank (35%) and France Telecom (33.3%)

Fortune Global 200 companies with highest percentage of women directors

  1. Proctor & Gamble (USA) - 45.6%
  2. Wellpoint (USA) - 41.7%
  3. Statoil Hydro (Norway) - 40%
  4. General Motors (USA) - 36.4%
  5. Target (USA) - 36.4%
  6. Wells Fargo (USA) - 35.7%
  7. HP (USA) - 35.7%
  8. Deutsche Bank (Germany) - 35%
  9. France Telecom (France) - 33.3%
  10. PepsiCo (USA) - 33.3%
  11. McKesson (USA) - 33.3%
  12. BNP Paribas (France) - 31.3%
  13. Societe Generale (France) - 31.3%
  14. Dow Chemical (USA) - 30.8%
  15. Deutsche Post (Germany)- 30%
  16. Intel (USA) - 30%

Key findings and order form for the 2011 CWDI Report on the Fortune Global 200 available here.

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