Castor oil in the form of a strong salary devaluation has been a mandatory requirement for the vast majority of Spanish workers as a magic recipe to be more competitive and leave the crisis behind. The only exception to this tragala in the payroll is in the top management of companies. Without going any further, and according to calculations made by EL PAÍS, in 2017 the salary of the board of directors of the listed groups grew by 21.7%. One of the few dams to contain this wage gap – the heads of the Ibex earn an average of 98 times more than their staff – are women. A study by the University of Oviedo concludes that in those companies where the presence of women in the councils and in the remuneration committees is higher, the salary of the first executive is lower than the average and their growth over time is lower.
"The results obtained indicate that female directors contribute to a moderation of executive remuneration and are perceived by shareholders as an aspect valued when drawing up the salary plans of executives", explain the authors of the report, Antonio García, Carlos Fernández and Rubén Arrondo. As a result, las companies with the largest presence of women In the management bodies, they usually suffer a rejection below the average when the board's remuneration report is put to the vote at the annual shareholders' meeting. "This fact confirms the influence of a minority group, women, in the sustainable progress of companies, and their presence in the councils is not only a social or purely formal media, but a contribution to have better corporate governance practices," they added. .
The presence of at least one woman on the remuneration committee reduces the rate of growth of the CEO's salary by 23%
In their study the professors of the University of Oviedo analyzed the composition of the boards of directors and the salary of the first executives of the companies listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange between 2011 and 2015. The CEOs of companies with gender diversity in the management body earn 461,830 euros more on average than executives of companies without a female presence. This result, which would go against the main thesis of the report, is explained because those listed where there are more women tend to be larger and, therefore, with better salaries in its top management. On the other hand, the authors point out that the presence of at least one woman on the appointments and remuneration committee is associated with a 23% reduction in the growth rate over time of the salary of the company's first manager.
Less opposition in the meetings
Another result of the report is that those societies in which there is a standard deviation in the proportion of women in the body that decides the payroll of the council is associated with a decrease of 0.8% in the votes against the remuneration report. Taking into account that the degree of rejection of investors in general to salaries is still small, due to its low commitment and the existence of control shareholders' nuclei in many companies, the difference when it is scrutinized the managerial payroll is quite meaningful
The financial crisis, which is now the tenth anniversary of its outbreak, was partly inoculated by the perverse systems of compensation of companies, especially in the US financial sector, based on short-term incentives through the delivery of shares and share options to managers, as they encouraged the assumption of too high risks by them. "The data from the study also partially support the hypothesis that the presence of female counselors reduces the use of salary schemes based on options," the academics point out.
The presence of women on the boards of directors of Spanish companies has increased in recent years, but there is still much room for improvement. In 2013 there were 94 groups with women on councils, 66.2% of the total, and 169 councilors (only 12%). In 2016, the latest official data available at the CNMV, there were 223 administrators (16.6% of the total) in 112 of the 136 groups admitted to the Stock Exchange (81.8%). In 2017, according to the data of IESE, this progression would have been maintained and the female weight in the councils would already be around 20%, still far from the minimum target of 30% that should be quoted in 2020 to comply with the recommendation of the Code of Good Government. In addition, one thing is the (obvious) quantitative improvement, and another the qualitative one. "When we look at the management positions, it seems that there is a glass ceiling that prevents women from accessing positions of power and greater responsibility." Our analysis shows that only 5% of those listed have executive advisors ", these experts recall.