The big European companies that get the best credit ratings are those having the most female professionals working for them, a study by the rating agency Moody’s published in Tuesday’s l’Echo revealed.
For this piece of research, Moody’s reviewed 540 companies it tracks in Europe (within the European Union plus the United Kingdom and Norway).
In companies with credit rating A, women occupy 34% of the seats on the board of directors. At the other end of the scale, in companies rated CAA, they occupy only 16% of them.
The study also shows that companies with the best ratings tend to have more women in executive positions. Similar research conducted by the rating agency in North America produced alike findings.
“Diversity on the board is in itself realistically not the sole reason for higher ratings,” Brendan Sheehan, the vice-president and senior analyst at Moody’s, nevertheless stipulated.
Other factors come into play such as broad and diverse ownership, a very independent board and extended management teams.
“We nonetheless consider the presence of women on the board – and the potential diversity of opinion they bring – as a contributing factor to good corporate governance,” Moody’s explains.
According to the study, Belgian companies have 28% women on average on their board of directors.
Belgium comes seventh out of the countries reviewed by Moody’s. France has the most balanced figure in terms of gender with 42% of women on average and Slovenia comes bottom of the list with only 8% of women in managerial positions.
Going by their CA ratings, the sectors with the most women in executive positions are construction, aerospace and defence.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, are packaging and forest products.