Women on board: enhancing leadership in family firms

Over the past 5-10 years, there has been an increasing focus on the importance of women in leadership positions, including on boards. Aside from the obvious reason of legal equality, why is a policy of mixed-gender board representation important?
Female Board Member, family council, family board
Ownership Updated on January 23, 2024

It is widely known that across the globe few women reach leadership positions within the financial services sector, with women only representing 12% of CFOs in large-cap firms and 34% of CFOs in mid-cap firms in 2018. Research by Catalyst shows that progress is being made, but not nearly fast enough with women’s global representation on executive committees in major financial services firms increasing at 1% per annum since 2016.

Australia (34%), the US (26%) and Singapore (23%) are amongst the frontrunners across the globe, with countries such as China (5%) and Japan (5%) amongst the poorest performing.

Recently there has been an increased focus on the importance of including women in leadership positions, including on boards. Apart from the obvious reason of legal equality, why is a policy of mixed-gender board representation important?

Broadening the leadership model

By the start of the 1990s, women had been routinely entering the workplace for 15 or 20 years in most European countries. Yet during that time, the expectation among both women and the organizations they worked for seemed to be that women would simply slot into cultures and structures that had been designed entirely by and for men.

About the Authors

Freya Williams

Freya Williams

External Advisor: Business Anthropology

Freya is a business anthropologist specialising in qualitative insights and user-driven innovation. With a background in NGO’s and consultancy in London and Copenhagen, she works with Simple to co-create insights with our network of experts

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Francois Botha

Francois Botha

Founder & CEO

Francois believes that the next generation of family leaders need new, simple tools and trusted experts with a fresh outlook.

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