En 2019, the proportion of women in France’s CAC40 corporate workforce was just over 38%. 32.6% held senior positions, but they were only 18.8% in executive committees. Only one woman out of forty was Chair of the Board of Directors: Sophie Bellon of Sodexo in 2019 (and, since July 2020, Angeles Garcia-Poveda of Legrand, while Sodexo has since left the CAC40). Only one woman was given the role of CEO in a CAC40 company in 2019: Engie’s Isabelle Kocher, who has since been dismissed. Not a single woman holds this role in 2020. Women are better represented on boards (43.4%), but this is explained by the fact that French law requires that at least 40% of board members be women.
The situation is only very slowly improving when it comes to executive committees, with female representation at just 16% in 2018 (13.9% in 2017). In addition, five companies on the CAC40 don’t have a single woman on their executive committee: ArcelorMittal, Bouygues, EssilorLuxottica, ST Micro and Vivendi. Two of these companies – Vivendi and Essilor – have more women in their overall workforce. This is also the case at Axa and BNP Paribas, where women are heavily outnumbered by men on executive committees, with only 7.7% and 10.5% of women on executive committees respectively. No CAC40 company has a majority of women on its executive committee. The company that comes closest is Danone with 42.9% of women, followed by Dassault Systèmes (38.5%) and Air Liquide (35.7%).
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