The number of women in boardrooms is on the rise, but there’s still a long way to go. Although female presence on the boards of the IBEX-35 reached nearly 34% in 2021, an increase of 2.77 points over the previous year, the companies in the rest of the continuum remain far behind in this area. This is reflected in the latest edition of the annual report “Women on the Boards of Listed Companies” from IESE and ATREVIA.
In 2021, the representation of women on the boards of the companies listed on Spain’s continuous market increased 2.94 percentage points, with 351 female board members. Despite this gain, female presence remained at 28.72%, falling short of the 30% recommended by the Good Governance Code of Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) for the year 2020.
Benefits of having women on boards
Beyond complying with the recommendations of the Good Governance Code of the CNMV, there are many reasons why increasing female presence on governing bodies is good for companies.
Better decisions, better results
Having women on boards improves companies’ strategic decision-making, leading them to consider wider ranges of options.
Female representation on boards of directors results in better company performance. Having gender equality in the boardroom makes companies 20% more likely to improve their performance, according to the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO). If, in addition, a woman chairs the board, that will also have a positive effect on results.
Attracting and retaining talent
Female presence is a plus for recruiting talent, because it helps attracts and build loyalty among the best professionals and translates into improvements in creativity and innovation, according to the ILO.
Women have inherent leadership qualities like emotional intelligence, empathy and good listening, explains IESE Professor Nuria Chinchilla. Empathy helps women interpret situations differently than men, according to a McKinsey study.
That research also finds that women encourage the creation and strengthening of relationships, which translates into more collaborative management. Women tend to be natural transformational leaders, promoting the commitment and participation of their colleagues, and they are able to share power.
More ethical and responsible management
Meanwhile, women’s ability to tackle problems in a much more holistic way than men is very useful on governing bodies. It can also be very useful in crisis situations.
And that’s not all: the presence of women in boardrooms is also linked to more ethical business practices and better performance in the area of corporate social responsibility.
In short, a female presence in the management positions of a company always enriches the organization, and contributes to improved efficiency. If you are a woman and want to develop your skills to become an excellent board member, don’t miss out on the IESE program Women on Boards within IESE’s portfolio of programs.