© Hollandse Hoogte / Peter Hilz
Companies that have approximately the same number of women and men on board grow more strongly on the stock exchange than companies where the ratio is skewed.
BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, came to this conclusion after examining 1,250 companies from the MSCI World Index. It is the balance that counts, not the number of women: both over-representation and under-representation of women are suboptimal.
Companies with the best balance saw the value of their shares grow 29 percent per year between 2013 and 2022 more than companies from the same country and sector with the worst balance. Companies with the best balance in key positions also perform better than companies where that balance is missing.
In concrete terms, BlackRock divided the companies into five groups, ranging from few to many women on board. It is the companies from the medium segment that score the best, followed by the group with the second most women. BlackRock also notes that companies with a female CEO also do better on the stock market, while barely 6 percent of companies had a female CEO in 2022.
The study comes at a time when BlackRock in the US is under fire from conservative voices for also taking into account “ESG” in its investments, metrics that describe the extent to which a company takes sustainability and social responsibility into account. The critics believe that only profits should count.