There are more women at the head of African companies than listed American companies

There are more women at the head of African companies than listed American companies

Diversity Policy

BNP Paribas AM wants more women in senior positions. To achieve this, it uses target numbers. In the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, BNP Paribas Asset Management (AM) wants at least 30 percent of women on corporate boards. The asset manager aims at 15 percent for Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East.

If a company proposes a new director at a shareholder meeting, but there are still very few women on the board of directors, BNP Paribas AM votes against it. In 2021, the organization declined to hire 37 percent of directors for this reason. The asset manager was the strictest in Asia, because it started operating with a 15 percent limit there for the first time. As a result, the asset manager voted against the appointment of 57 percent of board members to Japanese companies.

The asset manager not only expresses his opinion through voting, but also enters into discussions with companies. In 2021, BNP Paribas AM held talks with 36 companies. Thirteen of them later adapted.

Diversity makes money

Having women on the company’s board of directors is profitable. This is according to a study conducted by the consulting firm McKinsey. Management teams with more than 30 percent of women perform better financially than companies with boards with fewer or no women.

BNP Paribas AM aims to have at least 40 percent women on boards by 2025. “When we get to 40 percent, we consider mission accomplished,” BNP Paribas AM’s Michael Herskovitch said in a previous interview.

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Read more: Companies where women top perform better financially, but diversity isn’t the norm. How is that?

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