Companies with female bosses could help ‘the firm bring in 10 times more profit’

More chief executives called Peter than female CEOs in top firms

Maya Oppenheim
Women's Correspondent
Monday 27 July 2020 17:21
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The study carried out by gender diversity company the Pipeline found only 14 of the 350 largest companies in the UK are led by women
The study carried out by gender diversity company the Pipeline found only 14 of the 350 largest companies in the UK are led by women

Companies with female bosses could help the firm bring in 10 times more profit, a new study has found.

Researchers discovered listed companies where at least one-third of the bosses are women have a profit margin more than 10 times bigger than those with no women in such roles.

But the study carried out by gender diversity company the Pipeline found only 14 of the 350 largest companies in the UK are led by women.

While 15 per cent of firms in the FTSE 350, the 350 largest firms listed on the London Stock Exchange, have no female executives at all.

Researchers found there were more chief executives who go by the name of Peter than there were female CEOs.

Firms with no women on their executive committees have a net profit margin of 1.5 per cent, while companies with more than one in three women on their committees reached an average 15.2 per cent net profit margin.

Researchers found if stock exchange firms with no women on their executive committees had functioned with the same net profit margin as those with more than a third, a further £47bn could have been generated in pre-tax profit – which is enough cash to keep the NHS going for five months.

Lorna Fitzsimons, co-founder of The Pipeline, the largest gender diversity business in the UK, said: “Women Count 2020 report shows the stark difference in net profit margins of companies that have diverse gender leaderships compared to those who do not.

“During the most unprecedented economic challenge of our lifetime, the economy can’t afford for businesses to continually miss the opportunity to be more productive. Businesses and governments need to actively address this as an economic imperative if we want to come out of the inevitable recession any time soon. We will then emerge from this crisis together, stronger, and more united than ever in a post Covid-19 world.”

Construction and retail were found to be two of the sectors that have the lowest rates of gender equality in top positions.

Researchers argued it was imperative for firms to tackle gender inequality immediately in the context of Britain’s economy shrinking by a record 20.4 per cent in April due to the coronavirus lockdown.

It comes after a recent study found the coronavirus crisis is driving gender inequality, with women almost twice as likely as men to have lost their job during the pandemic.

Researchers at the University of Exeter’s Business School discovered 7 per cent of women had been made redundant during the lockdown in comparison to 4 per cent of men.

The report, which polled 1,500 people and came out earlier in the month, found women were more likely to have seen their working hours reduced during the public health emergency while simultaneously taking on more childcare responsibilities, housework and homeschooling than men.

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