Gender Balance and Diversity Balance for Fund Boards

 I went to a Carne Group Event in Luxembourg.

I learnt a few interesting numbers regarding women representation on Boards of Directors: 

– Portugal and Luxembourg are the two countries in Europe with the least women as Board members. In Carne Group, 1 out 5 Board committees has a woman and in 90% of cases she is the only woman.

– 20 countries have today adopted quotas.

– Many studies have found that when the number of women on Boards increase, governance and transparency in the company, as well as their Diversity policies, improve. And that in the future we need all talents!

So why can’t we find more women in these key positions ?

Then the Panel, led by a woman, gave various best practices and tips for women to become more involved on Boards.

Some panelists added some interesting questions and remarks:

– 23% of large funds don’t care for gender or diversity balance and considered it as non-important in 2014. “We have to push!” said Barry O Dwyer.

– In a time of economic and financial crises, it is important to have women on Strategic committees or Boards: for better economic results, less risks taken by the company…

– The importance to have job descriptions for Board positions, and to analyse the needs and skills on Funds Boards. These needs are different depending on the fund’s stages of maturity or its cycle of life.  (Denise Voss ALFI chairman).

– Often when there is only 1 woman on a Fund Board, it’s difficult for her to influence the decision-making process (Rita Knott).

– Governance: women help in improving overall performance. 99% of Fund Boards members are men and we know that they take more risks (studies show it). 

  • MiFID 2 is asking to further develop Gender Balance and Diversity Balance.

After thoughts on this event, I would like to clarify:

For me Gender Diversity and Gender Balance are 2 different topics, because a woman can be old, from another country, black, homosexual, etc.

In the future we should be able to create a debate around the Fear (probably of change) of certain Board Presidents, regarding quotas and the appointment of women.

The event’s audience was very much represented by women. Only 2 or 3 men participated… Are they really aware ?

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