More Women on the Boards of Top 10 Most Sustainable Companies in the World

The top 10 most sustainable companies in the world, according to the 2014 Global 100 Index, had an average of 25% women on their boards of directors, which is 6% higher than the average percentage of women on the boards of the top 100 most sustainable companies in the world.

When viewed as a whole, the top 100 most sustainable companies in the world had an average of 19% women on their boards, which is exactly the same as the average 19% of women on the boards of Global Fortune 100 companies found by Catalyst in 2012. The average percentage of women on top executive teams did not appear to budge, but remained close to 15% when viewed across both the top 10 and the top 100 most sustainable companies in the world as well as the Global Fortune 100 companies.

One of the 12 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by which the top 100 most sustainable companies were ranked is leadership diversity, which was measured by both the percentage of women on the board of directors and the percentage of women on the top executive team. Leadership diversity does not seem to be a differentiating factor of sustainability for the top 100 most sustainable companies in the world relative to Global Fortune 100 companies.

However, the 6% higher average of women on the board seems to be related to what differentiates the top 10 most sustainable companies in the world from the top 100 most sustainable companies in the world. One possible explanation is that 80% of the top 10 most sustainable companies of the 2014 Global Index are from Europe, where there is growing support for women to serve on boards. Whereas only 50% of the top 100 sustainable companies on the 2014 Global Index are from Europe. It is still important to further unpack what goes into this difference between the top 10 the whole 100 sustainable companies, because this may explain what drives leadership in sustainable business practices. The good news for now is that the number of women serving on the boards of companies throughout the world can and should grow.

Top 10 Most Sustainable Companies in the World

Westpac Banking Corporation
Biogen Idec Inc
Outotec OYJ
Statoil ASA
Dassault Systemes SA
Neste Oil OYJ
Novo Nordisk A/S
Adidas AG
Umicore SA
Schneider Electric SA

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