Women in finance

April 16, 2024
Elke Brink
Elke Brink

Its almost Women's month! Time to celebrate women in finance - and where we make a difference!

Women currently make up 50% of the Fortune 500 workforce, but only hold 4% of the CEO spots (26 out of 500). In 2005, Alex Haslam and Michelle Ryan completed a study entitled The Glass Cliff. They surveyed the top 100 companies on the UKs Financial Times Stock Exchange and found that companies that had experienced volatility or poor performance in the previous five months were more likely to appoint a woman as CEO. This study was supported in 2013 when Allison Cook and Christy Glass analysed all the Fortune 500 CEO transitions over a 15-year period and found that women were more likely to be named CEO when companies were underperforming.

There is plenty of research that supports the view that having women around the table makes a significant difference.

  • Mixed-gender boards outperform all-male boards (Credit Suisse, The CS Gender 3000: women in senior management).
  • Women-led hedge funds perform inline or exceed those managed by men (KPMG, Women in Alternative Investments: A marathon not a sprint, 2014).
  • The Fortune 500 companies with the highest proportion of women performed better than the firms with the lowest (Catalyst Information Centre, 2013).

One of the most intriguing studies of 21 980 firms across 91 countries found that those that went from having no female senior executives to having 30% female representation, increased their net revenue by 15%! 

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