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Gender & leadership in the boardroom: Why are women still earning 31% less than men?

In the last decade, increasing gender diversity has been a prominent issue for boardrooms across the globe. In fact, studies show that female CEOs tend to produce better results for their companies than male CEOs do. 

Offshore Norway, France, Sweden and Italy are among the countries with the highest percentage of women serving on boards. Regionally, countries in the Americas and Asia Pacific region have progressed the least. With respect to women chairs, the three regions have approximately the same percentage: EMEA (5%), the Americas (4%) and Asia-Pacific (4%).

Yet locally, the percentage of female CEOs in JSE-listed companies improved 8% as of end June 2022, up from 5% a year earlier – a cause for celebration. Yet they still earn 31% less than men.

The take-out

Locally, a recent version of the annual Africa-wide non-executive director’s survey report by Africa’s leading guide, appointer, and educator of high-performance boards cites an improvement in female representation in boardroom composition with 40% of board members being female, up from 23% in 2020.

Globally, key findings from a Diligent Institute report cite:

The average female representation in the boardroom is increasing in many regions globally. Despite this momentum, average female representation on boardrooms in continental Europe still lags the quota proposed by the European Commission.
52% of women hold more than one listed board position, compared to only 36% of men.
Women’s participation in committees has improved significantly. 
Female directors bring diverse skill sets to the table: are twice as likely to have sustainability experience compared to their male counterparts.
Female directors are likely to be more independent: average independence level among female directors is 84%, compared to 59% of male directors.

The experts

Our experts are equipped to share insights on:

How the percentage of female directors is changing
More about these women’s journeys once appointed to a board 
Whether they assumed leadership positions as quickly as their male counterparts
Whether they joined and chaired committees at similar rates
How their average ages and tenures compared to those of male directors

Anyone researching or reporting on this topic is invited to get in touch with Nicole Chamberlin on or +27 79 192 0105.