Women are stock market investors but still a long way from leadership positions in publicly traded companies
São Paulo, October 6, 2021 – Out of the 100 publicly traded companies in Brazil, only six have three or more women in senior management positions, 25 only have one and 61 have no female executive officers at all. These data are part of an unprecedented survey by Brazil’s exchange B3, which seeks to go beyond providing yet another blank portrait of the Brazilian female world.
The survey also maps out the participation of women on Boards of Directors, through which B3 intends to strengthen the debate on diversity in the Brazilian corporate world and to foster reflection on the role of companies in society.
According to the IBGE’s Social Indicators of Women in Brazil, women represent more than half the population of Brazil, are more educated on average, but even so remain a minority in management positions (37.4%) and overall earn 77% of men’s salary level.
B3’s survey on women in senior management and on boards of directors was carried out in June this year and used as a reference public information that the companies provided in regulatory documents that they submitted to the Exchange. The consolidated portrait of the 408 companies analyzed was as follows:
· 61% do not have a single woman among their chief officers
· 45% have no women on their Board of Directors
· 25% only have one woman in senior management positions
· 32% have one woman on the board of directors
· 6% have three or more women in senior management
· 6% have three or more women on the Board of Directors
Mapping made advances into segment-based analysis, including companies listed at the Basic, Corporate Governance Level 1, Corporate Governance Level 2, and the Novo Mercado, to assess the relationship between the ESG agenda and the governance concept that came increasingly to the fore as of 2000 with the creation of the Novo Mercado special listing segment and with rules bringing greater transparency to the Brazilian market.
Of the 190 companies in the Novo Mercado, which establishes strict corporate governance rules, 89% have only one woman or no women among their chief officers. Companies with three or more women in senior management are 3% of the total.
At the Basic level, companies with one or no women in senior management totaled 86%, out of a total of 168 companies. Those with three or more women are 7%. At Corporate Governance Level 2, these percentages are respectively 87% and 4%.
Companies at Corporate Governance Level 1 had the lowest percentage (67%) when the criteria were complete absence of or only one woman among chief officers, and the largest (26%) when analyzing those with three or more women in senior management.
Board of Directors
The survey also analyzed the participation of women on Boards of Directors. Among the companies listed at the Basic corporate governance level, 81% had no women or only one on the Board of Directors. The figure was 70% among companies at Corporate Governance Level 1, 79% at Corporate Governance Level 2, and 75% on the Novo Mercado.
The number of companies with three or more women on the Board of Directors did not surpass 7% among companies listed on the Novo Mercado, 4% at Corporate Governance Levels 1 and 2, and 6% at Basic level.
The figures for companies with two women on the Board of Directors are as follows: 26% of companies at Corporate Governance Level 1; 18% on the Novo Mercado; 17% at Corporate Governance Level 2 and 13% at Basic.
Examining female participation in the senior management of companies becomes more significant when surveys prove the correlation between gender diversity with greater profitability and, particularly, the importance of leadership for cultural transformation.
To be successful, actions focused on increasing diversity in companies need the engagement of leaders. Among the 408 companies traded on the Brazilian market and which were surveyed by B3, there are 2,596 board members and 2,126 executive officers in all. This widens the stage for diversity ambassadors within organizations so that change can truly occur at all levels.
B3 has also reaffirmed its commitment to diversity and to the ESG agenda in numerous actions, as protagonist, driver, or supporter of best practices. As a financial market infrastructure, the company aims to provide parameters so that on, the one hand, companies can assess themselves and grant transparency to their activity and, on the other, investors and wider society can keep track of the advances made.
The B3 Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE) is an important ally in analyzing the behavior of companies that commit to best corporate practices within the ESG agenda. The index was created in 2005 and was one of the first in the world to assess initiatives related to social, environmental and corporate governance questions. In these 16 years it has undergone readjustments to reflect the development of the market and the increased demands on companies to adopt corporate best practice.
“Nowadays, given the ESG agenda requirements on companies, we believe that the ISE, Novo Mercado and other initiatives that encourage corporate best practice are important contributions to the market,” said Flávia Mouta, the Issuers Managing Director at B3.
As a best practices motor for the market, B3 holds that the diversity and inclusion agenda is a business sustainability question in an ever more globalized and plural world, where consumers want to see their values represented in the brands with which they have a relationship.
In September 2021, B3 became the first stock exchange in the world to issue a Sustainability-Linked Bond (SLB) on the capital market. It is also the first Brazilian company to have issued an SLB abroad with exclusively social aims, linked to diversity and inclusion:
· The creation by 2024 of a market index to measure the performance of companies with good diversity indicators
· To reach a percentage of 35% women in leadership positions at B3 (managers, associate directors, and senior management, which includes C-level) by 2026
These are only some of the examples of the initiatives that B3 has implemented in recent years in the quest for greater diversity in the Brazilian capital market, following the example of the rest of the world.