Why Women leadership isn’t just a boardroom issue anymore

Through data and analytics, investors now have an opportunity to direct greater capital to businesses that make a positive impact.

Published May 23, 2017

Studies show that having gender diversity in leadership positions correlates with increased profit and returns. Companies with just 30% women in the C-suite demonstrate a 15% increase in profitability compared to those with none. Likewise, companies with boards made up of at least 40% women demonstrate higher return on equity, higher return on capital and lower stock price volatility , especially compared to exclusively male boards.

However, today’s companies are still largely male-dominated.

“[E]vidence suggests that many women remain unable to achieve their goals… If these obstacles persist, we will squander the potential of many of our citizens and incur a substantial loss to the productive capacity of our economy.”
- Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chair
We All Can Succeed: 125 Years of Women’s Participation in the Economy

For instance, take the S&P1500 Index -- comprising the 1,500 largest companies that account for 90% of U.S. stock market capitalization:

  • 13% of S&P1500 companies have 0 female board members

    infographic showing 13.11% of the SP1500 have 0 female board members
  • 1 out of 5.5 board members are women

    infographic showing 1 out of 5.5 SP1500 board members are women
  • 79 out of 1496 CEOs are women (5.27%)

How can we create change?

The first step is to understand the scope of the problem. Censible set out to create a way of evaluating companies on leadership gender diversity. To find the companies and funds with the strongest female leadership, we use a database of over:

  • 50,000 global companies
  • 12,000 ETFs
  • 25,000 mutual funds
  • corporate executive and board data covering over 40,000 companies

Censible believes such a comprehensive analysis provides not only more accurate ratings but also global perspective across all companies, both big and small. Armed with this data, investors can make more informed decisions with their money. Because let’s face it: when you buy a product or invest in a company, you are supporting that company and its practices.

Explore the rankings

Censible Women in Leadership Rankings

Best Performing Companies

Censible uses data on company executives and board membership to rate companies on their inclusion of women in leadership positions. These are the best performing companies in the world at incorporating gender diversity in leadership positions.

Best Companies

Best Companies
Company
Censible
Score
CEO
Female Board %
Country

Censible uses data on company executives and board membership to rate companies on their inclusion of women in leadership positions. Learn more about our scoring methodology.

Censible Women in Leadership Rankings

Best Performing Large Companies

When it comes to ESG standards many hold the world’s largest companies to a greater level of accountability due to the resources these companies as well as the affect these companies generally have on employment and economic output. These are the best performing companies with a greater than $10 billion market capitalization.

Best Large Companies

Best Large Companies
Company
Censible
Score
CEO
Female Board %
Country

Censible uses data on company executives and board membership to rate companies on their inclusion of women in leadership positions. Learn more about our scoring methodology.

Censible Women in Leadership Rankings

Worst Performing Companies

5,840 companies score zero by failing to have one female board member or executive. With so many public companies failing to incorporate any gender diversity in its C-Suite or board, we've decided to focus on the 15 largest companies by revenue derived in the United States. Please contact us to receive the entire list.

Worst Companies

Worst Companies
Company
Censible
Score
CEO
Female Board %
Country

Censible uses data on company executives and board membership to rate companies on their inclusion of women in leadership positions. Learn more about our scoring methodology.

Censible Women in Leadership Rankings

Best & Worst Performing Funds

Most of the top funds are made up of European companies. This is likely partially a cultural phenomenon, but many European countries also have quotas for female board membership.

Best & Worst Funds

Censible uses data on company executives and board membership to rate companies on their inclusion of women in leadership positions. Learn more about our scoring methodology.

Censible Women in Leadership Rankings

Largest Funds

These funds control enormous market share. Chances are you’re invested in an index fund, and if not, they still provide a good picture of the market that may be more representative than a simple average.

Largest Funds

Largest Funds
AUM
Fund
Censible
Score
Female
CEOs
Female Board %
Boards with
over 30% women
All Male Boards
PE Ratio

Censible uses data on company executives and board membership to rate companies on their inclusion of women in leadership positions. Learn more about our scoring methodology.

Censible Women in Leadership Rankings

Socially Responsible Funds

There are many mutual funds and ETFs that focus on companies with high environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) ratings or purport to invest sustainably or responsibly. But one fund can’t encompass every issue, and gender diversity is often not represented well in ESG and corporate responsibility statistics.

Most of these funds perform similarly to the biggest index funds for female leadership diversity. Considering the often-high fees that are charged by these kinds of funds, they may not be a worthwhile investment if gender equality is your goal.

Socially Responsible Funds

Socially Responsible Funds
Fund
Censible
Score
Female
CEOs
Female Board %
Boards with
over 30% women
All Male Boards
PE Ratio
AUM

Censible uses data on company executives and board membership to rate companies on their inclusion of women in leadership positions. Learn more about our scoring methodology.

Censible’s Scoring Methodology

For our Women in Leadership rankings, we used a database of over 49,000 global companies, 12,000 ETFs and 25,000 mutual funds for our securities universe alongside corporate executive and board data covering over 40,000 companies.

Company Ratings

For each company, we first compile an executive score and a corporate board score, and then combine them into an overall raw Women in Leadership score. The raw score is then normalized across the company’s peers and by geographic region to determine a Censible rating.

Executive Scores

The executive score is calculated based on the percentage of women in a company’s C-suite and the importance of each C-Suite position. The C-suite executive roles included are:

  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO (Chief Technology or Chief Medical Officer)
  • President
  • Chairman
  • General Counsel
  • Human Resource Officer
  • Treasurer

The executive roles are weighted by relative importance; this weight is determined by finding the median ratio of each position’s compensation to total executive compensation across companies with greater than $1 billion market capitalization. Censible uses compensation ratios instead of absolute compensation amounts because this measure naturally adjusts for compensation currency and company size.

Distribution graph of CEO compensation to company C-Suite compensation

Figure 1 illustrates the distribution of CEO compensation to company C-Suite compensation, which follows a relatively normal distribution.

Distribution graph of CEO total compensation

Figure 2 illustrates the distribution for CEO total compensation, which follows a skewed, heavy-tail distribution.

Censible also uses a system of equations to adjust position compensation weights when executives have multiple roles. In the event a company does not have a particular position or Censible is unable to identify an executive’s gender, Censible adjusts the score to avoid unfairly penalizing or promoting the company.

Corporate Board Score

The corporate board score is primarily determined by the percentage of women on the company’s board of directors. Companies close to all-male boards are given a penalty on their score and companies with over 50% women on their boards are given increasingly less benefit as board percentage approaches 70%.

Raw scores are normalized across company peers. Rather than defining peers according to strict industry and sector classifications, we analyze similarities in micro-revenue data to generate peer cliques to normalize across. This helps us avoid pitfalls associated with defining a conglomerate business by a single, narrow classification.

Censible also normalizes company scores based on country or geographic region. Regulatory requirements and cultural differences regarding gender roles can affect the inclusion of women in leadership roles. For instance, the CAC 40 in France is requiring large companies to appoint 40% of their board seats to women by 2018. Companies in countries with fewer than 75 companies are normalized against the companies in its geographic developed or emerging market region.

Company Rankings and Lists

Some companies are excluded from Censible’s published Women in Leadership rankings lists. To be included on a list, the company must meet the following requirements:

  • Trade on a listed exchange
  • Have at least four board seats and three known executives.

Companies failing to meet these requirements may still be used in ETF or mutual fund calculations. Censible aggregates companies for country-specific rankings by corporate domicile. For instance, Accenture PLC, which is domiciled in Ireland, would not appear on a U.S. aggregated list.

Fund Ratings

Censible builds its fund ratings by first evaluating the constituent companies found in investment funds and ETFs. Fund holdings level data is provided by Factset’s Ownership and Symbology datafeed. Censible breaks down each ETF and mutual fund into individual components at the positional level and then rolls them up into the ultimate parent company. For example, Vanguard's Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) holds approximately ten other investment funds which our proprietary analyzer programmatically disaggregates into roughly 3,500 individual companies in order to calculate an overall ESG score for the fund. Displayed metrics pertaining to a fund such as the number of companies in the fund or the number of female CEOs utilize Censible’s proprietary analyzer.

Fund Rankings and Lists

Some funds are excluded from Censible’s published Women in Leadership rankings based on our selection criteria. To be included, funds must meet the following requirements:

  • Trade on a U.S. listed exchange
  • Contain at least 25 company positions based on Censible’s disaggregation algorithm
  • Do not have more than 10% exposure to a single company on a disaggregated basis
  • The fund’s three largest company exposures collectively remain under 20%
  • Legally filed or reported its holdings through Factset within the last year of the current date
  • 70% of the fund is comprised of publicly listed companies
  • Censible has rated at least 85% of the maximum potential fund exposure
  • Funds have at least $75 million in assets under management. This requirement is removed for responsible investing fund lists

Press Kit

Press kit available upon request. Direct inquiries to Philip Martin.

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