"It is disappointing to see that despite all the talk and commitments from global leaders, actual progress towards gender equality in the workplace is still painfully slow."
- Diana van Maasdijk, Equileap chief executive
Launched in 2016, Equileap’s social enterprise aims to close the equality gap in the corporate world. Producing an annual Gender Equality Global Report, Equileap ranks the top 100 companies as well as reporting key insights per country, sector and on specific issues ranging from the gender pay gap and female representation at all corporate levels, parental leave, and anti-sexual harassment policies.
This year’s report examines 3,787 companies, pooling over 100m employees globally. According to Equileap, gender equality in the corporate sector is still “more talk than action,” but there have been signs of new momentum since 2022.
Currently, only 28 companies globally (less than 1%) have closed their gender pay gap, with the majority (78%) not publishing information on pay differences. Although, in the UK, 82% of companies publish enumerated gender pay data, making it one of the best-performing markets on this criterion.
Similarly, only 18 companies in the world achieved gender balance at all company levels, with female chief executives at 6% and female executives at 20%. Notably, these statistics represent a 5% and an 18% increase since 2022 respectively.
However, on the global stage, women represent 28% of board members, 20% of executives, 26% of senior management, and 38% of the workforce. These numbers have remained almost stagnant in the past 3 years.
Alongside these statistics, Equileap reports a 25% increase in companies offering flexible work locations in the last three years as well as an 11% increase in companies publishing anti-sexual harassment policies.
In the financial sector, Equileap found that the average score for companies in this sector (516) was 44% which stands at a 6% increase since last year. Four financial companies achieved global top ten status (Medibank, Allianz, UBS, and Westpac) while the sector outperformed the global average (33%) for female representation in the workforce.
The sector is also the most transparent on the gender pay gap with 32% of companies publishing pay data.
Commenting on these findings, Diana van Maasdijk, Equileap chief executive, has said:
"It is disappointing to see that despite all the talk and commitments from global leaders, actual progress towards gender equality in the workplace is still painfully slow. And yet, our sixth global gender equality report brings some good news. There is rising awareness that better gender equality means better performance.
"When we launched the Euronext Equileap Gender Equality France 40 Index in November last year, back testing showed companies with better gender equality outperform by 3% over 3 years. Those kinds of numbers get noticed by investors and CEOs and create an incentive for change.
"But if money talks, legislation shouts. It's telling that in nearly every country researched, we see government commitments that will create better gender equality at work. Progress is far, far too slow but we know that our data is helping investors and companies build a new momentum - "what gets measured gets managed."