Earlier this month, PwC joined forces with the data insight company Business-Monitor to publish a new gender parity analysis of all companies registered in Switzerland about the development of gender inequality within the workforce over the past decade. “This report aims to bring a new perspective on the representation of women in decision-making positions in the Swiss economy and how the landscape has changed over the past ten years.” (Swiss Company Leadership and the Gender Divide, 2008-2018)
- Women are “stuck” at lower-level decision making roles and change is not about to occur. The research confirms that the “glass ceiling” metaphor is not a myth. In 2018, less than one in four decision-makers in Swiss businesses are women. Over the past ten years, this rate has consistently diminished, as in 2008, the proportion of females in decision-making roles was one in three.
- There is a surprising difference between female representation trends of Limited companies (LTDs) and Limited Liability companies (LLCs). Although gender imbalance is lower in LLCs, both types of legal entities have an unequal percentage of women in decision-making roles (16.8% for LTDs and 27.1% for LLCs, in 2018) and an uneven gender spread across the responsibility hierarchy. This trend has slightly improved over the last decade in LTDs but the data shows that this is not the case for LLCs. An overall 2.2% drop in females holding decision-making roles can be observed over the past 10 years. Although LTDs are the best examples of the “glass ceiling” phenomenon, it is harder to break in LCCs.
- Gender balance is poorer in newer companies. With the efforts undertaken by the Swiss government and other worldwide organizations to raise awareness for equal pay and representation, one would assume that newly established companies are the front runners in terms of balanced workforces. Surprisingly, research shows that this is not the case. Companies founded after 2008 have a higher gender imbalanced rate than pre-existing ones.
The striking statistical data raises important questions as to why these gender imbalances exist, what strategies companies can implement to tackle them and why it would be beneficial for them do so. Indeed, the report identifies a compelling business case for gender equality, which can only be achieved through: a clear vision, leadership engagement and an action plan engaging the entire workforce and key partners to be more Diverse & Inclusive. These actions can ignite the change so your organization can be part of the journey to gender parity across the globe.
To understand where your organization is today regarding Diversity & Inclusion, we encourage you to take our short survey. After completion, you will receive an assessment indicating the strengths and opportunity areas of your program. You will also receive indications on how you compare to the benchmark of other companies in your region and industry.
At PwC we are committed to becoming more Diverse and Inclusive through a number of ongoing actions, including the HeforShe program. Our active HeforShe ambassadors are committed to ensuring equal pay for our workforce by becoming EQUAL-SALARY Certified.
We look forward to engaging in conversations with you on this topic.
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