Will 2022 be the year in which women break the glass ceiling a little more? Katherine McGregor, the only woman to head the CAC 40 company today — Angie, for a year — may actually be joined by Krystle Heidman. The current head of Schneider Electric for Europe is approached to take over the general management of Orange, and succeeds Stephen Richard, convicted in the Tepi case. The operator’s board of directors should meet in the coming days to take a decision.
→ analysis. Orange: Stephen Richard forced to resign
Another woman called upon to join the closed circle of CAC 40 leaders: Estelle Brachlianoff. Veolia announced on January 10 that she would become the group’s chief executive officer in July. Current CEO Antoine Freirot will take over the chairmanship of the board of directors.
In France, fourteen of the 120 listed companies are female leaders.
Two women, perhaps three, head 40 major French groups, expanding to 14, 120 of the largest listed French companies… The presence of women at the top of the ladder remains pretentious. Yet Florian de Saint Pierre refuses to fall into defeatism. “2011, before the Copé-Zimmermann law” (1), SBF 120 companies had no female CEOs or presidents. There were five in 2017 and fourteen today, maybe fifteen soon” Recalls the chairman of Ethics & Boards, which bills itself as “the first independent data platform dedicated to corporate governance”.
Above all, Florian de Saint Pierre insists that on this global issue, “France is doing better than other major countries”, In Germany, only four out of 110 HDAX companies have a female leader, according to Ethics and Boards Count. In the United States, as in the United Kingdom, eight of the hundred largest listed companies are led by women. “France today is better than the Anglo-Saxons, who were ahead in the presence of women on executive committees”, The former analyzes the headhunter.
Comex, a must for future business leaders
However, if France is at the top of the class with 46% women on the board of directors or supervisory boards of SBF 120 companies, it lags behind on the feminization of the governing body, the executive committee (COMEX) or management: 23.8 in SBF 120 companies. %, compared to 31.3% for the Norwegian champion, or 25.8% in the United States. Sleep, “To become a general manager, you must have been a COMEX member”, Emphasizes Michelle Ferry, associate researcher at Schema.
This is the full meaning of the Rixen law, adopted in December 2021, which establishes women’s quotas in the governing bodies of large companies. “The legislative boost to the Köppe–Zimmermann law had enabled women to emerge on boards. We can expect a similar ripple effect for governing bodies,” Carol Lambert is expecting partner at Deloitte. The law would actually create a pool of senior executives in which shareholders would be able to find their future CEOs.
If he says he is optimistic, researcher Michelle Ferry notes the low number of female board chairs – nine out of 120 companies in SBF 120, in September 2021 – despite the record feminization of boards… “At Comex, it will be necessary to ensure that women not only do support work, Recommends Florian de Saint Pierre. By engaging in business work they will be able to find themselves on succession plans. ,
And “It is at the level of shareholders that this happens”, Supports Carol Lambert. she greets “The position of the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire, who publicly elects to favor a woman of equal skill”, to the general management of Orange, of which the state is one of the main shareholders.
To bring out women leaders, Deloitte’s ethics and governance managers make one priority: to ensure “that headhunters submit as many female applications as male for each position”, On the very low attendance of female students in engineering schools, researcher Michelle Ferry invited more upstream work to be done. And more broadly to question the prejudices that persist. Quotas will not be enough to change the mindset.
Rixen law, France demands more from its neighbors
Adopted in December 2021The Rixon law establishes a 30% women quota among senior executives and members of the governing body in companies with more than 1,000 employees from 2027. The limit will be raised to 40% in 2030. Under the penalty of financial penalties (up to 1% of payroll), companies would have two years to reach the target.
in GermanyAs of early 2021, listed companies with more than 2,000 employees were required by a law to appoint at least one woman to a management board with more than three members.
Switzerland has decidedIn 2020, listed companies must have a management board made up of at least 20% women by 2031.
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