Ibex 35 companies exceed the parity goal in 2020 with 31.2% of women on their boards



The Ibex 35 companies advanced in 2020 and closed the year with a new high of 31.17% of women on their boards of directors. This figure represented an increase of four points, to a total of 139 seats, and represented the largest percentage increase in the last decade. However, the historical milestone registered in the listed companies of the selective was not enough to speak of compliance with the 2020 parity objective in the entire continuum since the set of listed companies stayed at 4.2 points -in 25.78% after rising 2.64% – to get the 30% recommendation that the CNMV good governance code urged them to achieve by 2021.

Thus, there are currently 330 female directors, 30 more than in the previous year, out of the total of 1,280 existing members on the boards of directors of listed companies on the Spanish market. These data are extracted from the “IX Report of women councilors in the Ibex-35 and IV Radiography of the complete continuous market” prepared by Atrevia and IESE, where it is highlighted that since the first study published The number of female directors on the Ibex 35 has doubled as it has evolved from just 66 in 2011 at 139 in 2020.

Specifically, there are 14 listed companies that have already reached the new parity horizon of 40% set as a target for 2022. Within this group of advancers are companies such as Adolfo Domínguez (57%), Realia (50%), REE (50 %), Ezentis (44%), Caixabank (43%), IAG (42%) or Santander (40%), among others. The study also reveals that still 10 companies in the continuous market do not have a female director and that another 25 have a single woman on their board.

The report also shows that in 2020, the year in which for the first time all the listed companies of the selective had at least one woman on their boards, the average of four female directors per company was finally achieved. Thanks to this push, the continuum as a whole managed to go from an average of two to an average of three female directors per company. In order to achieve a parity of 40% in 2022, each listed company would need to designate one more, without changing the composition of its members. «The advance of the number of women in the councils is unstoppable. The synergy provided by the female eye no longer leaves doubts about its convenience. Studies like this help to better understand what other companies are doing and encourage us to consider some changes. The rate of progress will be that required by the company or the one advocated by its shareholders, ”said IESE professor Nuria Chinchilla during the presentation of the report.

By sectors, the financial sector continued to champion the commitment to closing the gender gap and it already reaches almost four women per company, which in the case of the entities within the Ibex are almost five. In addition, the energy companies that are listed on the main selective of the Spanish Stock Exchange also have four women per company, although outside the Ibex 35 the average remains at just 1.7%. The report also shows that the average number of female directors in Socimis has improved four tenths compared to only one in the industrial and construction sectors.

No advance

Where no type of progress was registered was in the top executive positions of the companies that make up the selective, where women maintain a minimal presence. Specifically, so only three women have the maximum decision-making power: two of them as executive presidents (Ana Botín in Santander and Beatriz Corredor in Red Eléctrica) and one as CEO (María Dolores Dancausa in Bankinter).

Thus, within the Ibex 35, 94.29% of presidencies correspond to men (33) and 5.7715 to women (2). The most important index on the Spanish Stock Exchange also has 27 male CEOs and only one CEO, as mentioned above. Two top executives, those of Aena and Iberdrola, join the position of president and CEO and in five other companies (Acciona, Indra, Mapfre, Naturgy and Pharma Mar) they do not have that position on their organization chart.

«It is encouraging to see that the diversity on the boards of directors of Spanish companies is increasing and, above all, that there is no going back. The change we have made as a country in ten years is impressive. Now remains the challenge of the executive function and the general directorates. Faced with the challenge of the transformation in which all companies are immersed, diversity favors a more multifaceted look that reinforces us in our capacity for analysis, strategy and execution, “said Atrevia CEO Asun Soriano. “The presence of women in positions of responsibility and power in listed companies is advancing, which is great news for everyone. But there is still much to do ”, added the founder and president of Atrevia, Núria Vilanova.

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