The Second AP Fund’s Female Representation Index celebrates 15th anniversary
The proportion of women on the boards and in executive positions at listed companies continues to increase and Large Caps are leading the way
In the 15 years that the Second AP Fund has published a Female Representation Index, the proportion of women on boards has increased by 26.1 percentage points. The Female Representation Index for 2017 shows that the proportion of women represented on the boards of companies listed on NASDAQ Stockholm continues to increase and is now at 32.2 percent compared with 30.7 percent the previous year. The proportion of women in executive positions is also increasing and in this year’s survey it was 21.7 (20.9) percent. Large-cap companies account for the largest proportion of women on boards and in executive positions with 37.1 percent and 24.9 percent respectively.
“We can see how the pace of change is accelerating and 41.9 percent of newly elected board members today are women. At the same pace of change as the last four years, it will take 11 years for boards to comprise 50 percent women, and 24 years for 50 percent of executive positions to be filled by women. I think it shows that nominating committees and companies are well on the way to achieving gender equality on boards and management groups, irrespective of legislation,” says Eva Halvarsson, CEO of Second AP Fund.
“However, the percentage difference between the proportion of women in executive positions and as board members has increased for the fourth consecutive year from 9.8 percent in 2016 to 10.5 percent in 2017 and is the largest since the surveys began. Our task now is to continue the work and not to lose momentum,” says Halvarsson.
The proportion of women on the boards of all listed companies on NASDAQ Stockholm, excluding CEOs, is 33.8 (32.4) percent while for primary listed companies it is 35.2 (33.6) percent.
Large-cap companies account for the largest proportion of women on boards and in executive positions with 37.1 percent and 24.9 percent respectively. Excluding CEOs, the proportion of women on the boards of Large-cap companies is 39.5 percent and 42.0 percent for primary listed Large-cap companies.
Of the 305 companies in the survey, 224 have at least 25 percent women on the board compared with 202 companies in 2016. At 22 companies there are no women board members and 82 companies have no women in executive positions. The proportion of women who are chairs and CEOs also remains low at 6.2 (6.3) percent and 4.9 (5.2) percent.
The Financial Services sector has the highest proportion of women on its boards, 38.5 percent and 34.3 percent respectively. The Financial Services sector also has highest proportion of women in executive positions, 30.6 percent and 29.0 percent respectively. Lowest proportion of women are in the Public Utility sector followed by Oil & Gas.
Background to the Second AP Fund’s Female Representation Index
The Second AP‐fund has since 2003 conducted an annual survey with Nordic Investor Services to determine the proportion of women at middle management level, in executive positions and on the boards of listed companies. The survey for 2017 covered 305 primary and secondary listed companies on NASDAQ Stockholm. In addition, the survey records the proportion of women who have graduated from study programmes that constitute the traditional recruitment base for management groups and boards.
For more information, please contact:
Eva Halvarsson, CEO, Second AP Fund, phone +46 (0)31 704 29 00
Ulrika Danielson, Head of Communications & HR, phone +46 (0)709 50 16 13
The figures refer to all companies listed on NASDAQ Stockholm, unless otherwise specified.
The Second AP Fund (AP2) is one of five buffer funds within the Swedish pension system and one of the largest pension funds in northern Europe. AP2 has assets under management of SEK 324.5 billion (31 Dec 2016) in virtually every asset class and all over the world. The fund takes a long-term and responsible approach to asset management and its mandate is to maximise investment returns in the long term while keeping risk as low as possible in order not to trigger the so-called brake, or automatic balancing mechanism.