Female business execs rising in PH – Credit Suisse

MANILA, Philippines – Long known for having women in top political positions, the Philippines is also making strides in gender diversity in the boardroom.

The country ranked second, along with Norway, in terms of management diversity, with female senior management representation (CEO and those reporting to the CEO) rising from 24.6% in 2014 to 25% in 2016.

That's according to the Credit Suisse Gender 3000 report released by the firm's research institute on September 26.

Credit Suisse's bi-annual report was started in 2014 and analyzes an index of over 3,000 firms, encompassing more than 27,000 senior managers worldwide.

It also looks specifically at firms with more than 50% female representation in senior management, microfinance institutions, and venture capital firms to examine whether evidence links gender diversity to better performance.

The multinational financial giant is not alone in recognizing the growing diversity. Separate research done by the International Labor Organization (ILO) last year found that almost half of the managers in the economy are women, putting the Philippines 4th globally.

Diversity rising in Asia

Credit Suisse's latest report also discovered that top management and boardroom roles are increasingly open to women across the region.

It noted that of the 1,400 companies analyzed in 12 markets across the Asia Pacific, there has been a 60% rise in gender diversity at the boardroom level from 2010 to 2015.

The report noted, however, that overall female representation at a boardroom level in Asia remains low at less than 10% at the end of 2015 compared to the global average of 14.7%.

On the management front, the region also enjoys the highest level of female CEOs globally at 4.6%, helping to improve diversity at the senior level and below.

Asian countries also continue to dominate the top positions in management gender diversity. Thailand topped the category of female participation in senior management with 27.8% of the senior positions now held by women, followed closely by the Philippines with 25%.

The global average, meanwhile, stands at 13.8% compared to 12.9% in 2014.

In Emerging Asia in particular, women make up 13.2% of business unit heads which is a key stepping stone to senior roles and board positions. This represents the highest level among all regions and a 17% improvement from 11.3% in 2014.

Better returns with more diversity

Credit Suisse also said greater boardroom diversity continues to be rewarded with excess returns.

The report showed that out of the 265 Asia Pacific companies with over $10 billion market capitalization, those with at least one female board member delivered 58% outperformance in share prices from 2006 to July 2016.

The research also found that more female participation in top management roles brought higher returns globally.

From the end of 2013 to mid-2016, the performance of companies with 25% senior women showed a Compound  Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.8%; 4.7% for 33% senior women; and 10.3% for those over 50%, compared with a 1% annual decline for the MSCI All Country World Index over the same period. – Rappler.com