NewsDeloitte: Number of women on boards increased slightly, the Czech Republic lags behind the European average

Women continue to be represented only to a small extent in the boardrooms. Number of board seats held by women increased by three percentage points globally to the total of 15%, but 96% of board chairs are held by men. These are the results of the fifth edition of the Women in the Boardroom report, which maps the situation in 64 world countries including the Czech Republic. The latter’s 9% representation of women serving on boards lags behind the global as well as European average (23%).

“The Czech Republic has no legal regulation that would treat this matter, however, the share of women in management has still grown here in recent years,” says Jan Spáčil, Managing Partner of Deloitte Legal. “The question is whether regulation would solve anything and have any actual impact. The introduction of quotas does not have much support in this country and the proposed directive of the European Parliament introducing a 40% share of women in management would only concern very few companies in the Czech Republic, and in addition, it is still unclear whether it will be approved,” Spáčil adds.

For the first time, the study also focused on the interrelationships between corporate leadership and diversity. Companies with a female chair have nearly double the amount of women serving on boards as compared to when boards are led by a male chair (28.5% vs. 15.5%, respectively).

“Balancing the forces of the two genders in the work field can be very beneficial when we strive for efficient management and economic growth,” says Diana Rádl Rogerová, Managing Partner at Deloitte ČR. “At Deloitte, we have long been trying to set up a naturally balanced environment and as such we pay attention not only to diversity in terms of gender equality, but especially diversity with respect to an equal representation of various and often neglected social groups,” Rogerová adds.

The top of the European ranking belongs to Norway, where the percentage of board seats held by women reach 42%. In the United Kingdom it is a half lower (20%) but still higher than that of the United States, which have moved by only two percentage points since 2015 to 14% of women on boards on the average. The Czech Republic with its 9% is nearer to the average of Asian countries (8%), which is the lowest compared to the rest of the world.

In terms of the individual sectors, the numbers in Europe are almost even; the most women on boards are in the consumer sector (25%), followed by the FSI sector (24%) and the biopharmaceutical industry and healthcare (23%).