Diversity Report Switzerland 2020 – Abstract

How diverse are we in fact? In Switzerland there are – as of July 2020 – 7,605 public limited companies with over 50 employees. For the first time in 2020, GetDiversity is now publishing a complete survey of diversity in the management of all medium and large public limited companies in Switzerland. Why? Because we want to create transparency about how successful Switzerland is, in offering  all talents a professional platform to contribute their skills. Good news first. On one hand, there are already 274 companies in Switzerland with a 50 / 50 distribution both on the board of directors and among the signatories. We call them “Diversity Champions” in this publication. On the other hand: A total of 1,453 public limited companies, or 19% of all companies studied, already comply with the soon to be valid gender guidelines for boards of directors of listed companies of 30% without any legal obligation to do so.

And the others? 3,032 of the companies evaluated, or 40 % of these public limited companies, have no gender mix, neither on the board of directors nor among the authorised signatories – 2,965 work without women, 67 without men in positions of responsibility. 4,961 or 67 % of the companies do not have a single woman on their board of directors, 132 have no men. Given that around 80% of purchasing decisions are made by women and the fact that women have been in the majority in tertiary education for some years now, these evaluations leave the impression that labour resources are not being used in a smart way in company management. We have to optimise that if we want to remain competitive. Why?

Firstly: study after study shows that mixed teams deliver more success. Diversity means more comprehensive solution competence, more relevant innovation, fewer blind spots in risk assessment. Companies that are managed by mixed teams are more profitable. Diversity in management floors is an indicator of sustainably healthy companies. Ergo, many healthy companies form a healthy economy.

Secondly: We will run out of manpower in the coming years. Demographic and political developments increasingly require people who are capable of working to be in employment. We must use our domestic resources more effectively. In figures, this means that over the next 15 years the Swiss labour market will lose one million workers, while only half a million will enter the labour market.

Many companies want to consciously promote diversity, but do not know how. Previous measures and programmes have not brought the hoped-for success. We want to make a contribution to the solution, because diversity is actually simple to attain. With the full survey of Swiss Limited Companies, GetDiversity has laid the foundations for offering all medium-sized and larger companies in Switzerland an individual diversity benchmarking service that takes into account the differences between industries and regions. Because only what is measured first can be compared and measurably optimised. This is our systematic and strategically target-oriented approach.

The full survey also provides all interested parties with information on the actual situation regarding the mix. With an average proportion of women on boards of directors of 14% and 19% of authorised signatories, diversity is not yet sufficiently effective. Behavioural research has shown that the full impact of diversity can only be felt at a share above 30%. This has already been achieved by 1,453 or 19 % of Swiss companies as far as their boards of directors are concerned. 976 companies or 13 % of the companies are effectively mixed in terms of both their board of directors and signatories. The large remainder still have potential for structural improvement in their chances of success. There are 3,528 board seats in medium and large companies in Switzerland which are filled by women. These women already have board experience. So they exist, if you want to find them. 13,643 signatories in Swiss companies are women. These are women who basically bear a lot of responsibility. There is the right person for every mandate – we find them.

Download full report in German.


On methodology:

GetDiversity queried the commercial register data of all public limited companies with over 50 employees, evaluated and statistically analysed the data according to gender distribution with the help of artificial intelligence. The evaluation was based on the first names of the registered persons. Ambiguous names such as Andrea and Dominique were researched and assigned by hand. Random samples resulted in an accuracy of over 98 %.

The largest banks and insurance companies were excluded from this survey because they have a disproportionate number of authorised signatories or subsidiaries, which distorts the results.