AP2 Female Index 2015 – major increase in percentage of women on boards of publicly quoted companies

The Second AP Fund’s 2015 Female Representation Index (Female Index) reveals that the percentage of women on the boards of companies quoted on the Stockholm Stock Exchange continues to rise, currently amounting to 27.9 percent compared to 24.7 percent for the preceding year. This is the second largest increase since records began. The proportion of women on executive managements has also noted a steady increase, rising to 19.5 (18.4) percent for the year.

“It is very pleasing to witness the greatest increase since 2004 in the percentage of women serving on corporate boards. It demonstrates that stakeholders and nomination committees have exerted greater responsibility. There is still much to do, but I am convinced that this issue has now attracted the attention necessary for accelerating future development in this area and to ensure better utilization of the competence available,” states Eva Halvarsson, CEO of the Second Swedish National Pension Fund/AP2.

The proportion of female directors on the boards of companies with a primary listing on the Stockholm Stock Exchange is now 29.1 (25.5) percent. The proportion of women on the executive managements of these companies is 19.8 (18.9) percent.

The proportion of female directors on the boards of all listed companies, excluding CEOs, totals 29.5 percent, while the figure for primary listed companies is 30.7 percent.

If the pace of change noted over the past decade continues, it will be another 27 years before women fill 50 percent of the seats on corporate boards. The corresponding forecast for achieving 50 percent representation on executive managements is no less than 44 years.

“This year, we have also tried to determine a link between the average age of boards and executive managements and the proportion of women represented on them. Where boards are concerned, the average age does not appear to have any notable effect on the percentage of female directors. Conversely, we can see a rise in female representation on executive managements as the average age of these managements declines,” says Eva Halvarsson.

The 2015 survey reveals that the large-cap companies have achieved the greatest overall increase in female representation at board and executive management level, at 31.5 and 21.2 percent respectively. Mid-cap companies account for the most significant rise in the percentage of female directors on corporate boards, compared with the preceding year, posting an increase of 5.2 percent to 29.8 percent.

This year’s Female Index has revealed something of a shift in the position of the different industrial sectors, compared with previous figures. The Financial Services and Consumer sectors boast the highest number of women on their boards, while the highest percentage of women on executive managements are found in the Media and Financial Services sectors. The Media sector currently distinguishes itself for having the lowest percentage of female board members. The Commodities sector, which has traditionally featured the lowest proportion of women, both in terms of boards and executive managements, has increased female representation on boards to 18.2 (13.6) percent and on executive managements to 14.9 (13.8) percent.

Background to the AP2 Female Index
Since 2003, AP2 has conducted an annual survey together with Nordic Investor Services to measure the number of women in middle management roles, in company management positions and on the boards of companies listed on the stock exchange. The 2015 survey comprised 268 primary and standard-listed companies on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. In addition, the number of women graduating from degree programmes that have traditionally served as a basis for recruitment to company management and boards has also been measured.

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

The figures refer exclusively to companies quoted on the OMX Stockholm Stock Exchange, unless otherwise stated.