AP2’s Female Representation Index 2021 – highest ever proportion of women on boards and management teams

Andra AP-fonden’s (AP2’s) Female Representation Index for 2021 shows that the proportion of women on the boards of companies listed on NASDAQ Stockholm is once again increasing and is now 34.5 (33.7) percent. The proportion of women in executive management teams in listed companies continues to increase and this year’s increase, from 24.3 to 26.0 per cent, is the largest measured in percentage points since the studies began in 2002. Over time, the trend for women in executive positions has shown much greater stability compared to the trend for boards, particularly in the last decade. However, the long-term trend is also clearly positive with regard to boards of directors.

Despite the increase in the proportion of female board members, the proportion of female chairmen of the board remains unchanged at 8.6 per cent, which is lower than the record figure of 10.2 per cent in 2019. The proportion of women who are CEOs has risen by 2.3 percentage points and is now at 12.7 percent.

“After showing a slight decline in the proportion of female board members last year, we are delighted to see our Female Representation Index resume its upward trajectory since 2013 and that the proportion of women in executive positions continues to increase steadily. This shows that Swedish owners and companies are diligently working towards a more even gender distribution. However, we need to be better at diversity in all its dimensions and I think that this is an issue we need to discuss in a wider context in nominating committees, boards, management teams and in society at large,” says Eva Halvarsson, CEO of AP2.

“It is interesting to note once again that nominating committees with women correlate favourably with boards that have a higher proportion of women. Boards without nominating committees have a lower proportion of female board members than other companies,” she says.

On the boards of primary-listed Large-cap companies, excluding the CEO, the proportion of women is 40.7 (40.3) percent.

Of the 339 companies in the survey, 271 have at least 25 percent women on the board (79.9 per cent), an increase on the previous year’s figure of 76.5 percent. When broken down into market capitalisation groups, more than 9 out of 10 large cap companies reach the level.

Newly elected women on boards are younger than their male counterparts and female board members have on average a slightly higher number of board assignments than male members. This pattern is unchanged from previous years, although the age difference between newly elected men and women is greater this year and that both men and women on average have fewer board assignments than before.

Background to AP2’s Female Representation Index
AP2 has since 2003 conducted an annual survey with Nordic Investor Services to determine the proportion of women at middle management level, in executive positions and on the boards of listed companies. The survey for 2021 covered 339 primary and secondary listed companies on NASDAQ Stockholm. In addition, the survey records the proportion of women who have graduated from study programmes that constitute the traditional recruitment base for management groups and boards.

For more information, please contact:
Eva Halvarsson, CEO of AP2, phone +46 (0)31 704 29 00
Ulrika Danielson, Head of Communications, phone +46 (0)709 50 16 13

www.ap2.se/en/

The figures refer to all companies listed on NASDAQ Stockholm, unless otherwise specified.

Andra AP-fonden is one of five buffer funds within the Swedish pension system and one of northern Europe’s largest pension funds. The Fund’s assets under management total SEK 386.2 billion (31 December 2020), and cover essentially all asset classes across the entire world. We are leading specialists in the Swedish pension system and strive to be a world-class asset manager. We are a global leader in integrating sustainability in our investments, for the benefit of the pension system. The Fund is a long-term and responsible asset manager. www.ap2.se