Can we achieve parity in management positions for the technology sector?

During the second Tech For Good summit, leading tech companies tackled the issue of parity in managerial positions or on boards of Directors. What has been achieved? What is the portrait of the current situation? How would the economy benefit?

 

Ambitious goal
At a reception at the Élysée, hosted last May by President Macron, close to 25% of the 180 global digital technology company bosses present at the event announced that they want to increase to 30% the representation of women in their management positions or boards of Directors by 2022. While the McKinsey firm reveals that only 15% of these positions are currently held by women, major efforts will be made by the IBM, BlaBlaCar, Uber, Huawei, Alibaba, and Qwant’s of this world to achieve this ambitious goal, which would also allow for a review of the contribution technology makes for the well-being of all, especially in terms of health and education.

 

Portrait of the situation
A study conducted in 2016 by Deloitte with 72,000 board members from 7,000 companies across 44 countries tells us that the presence of women on Boards of Directors of TMT (Technology, Media, Telecommunication) companies varies greatly by geographic region. While they are well represented in the Netherlands (21%), Sweden (30%), France (36%) and Norway (38%), they are underrepresented in Japan (3%), Korea (2%) or in the Middle Eastern countries, and are in the high average for the United States (13%) and Canada (19%). Although Canada is one of the leading countries in terms of gender equality, the 2015 study The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in Canada, conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), shows that 45% of first-level employees are women, 25% of vice-presidents and 15% of CEOs. Among the 15 indicators studied, 7 reveal gender inequalities such as leadership positions as well as training and jobs in the science, technology, engineering and mechanics sectors.

 

Consequences for the economy
Increasing parity is not only dictated by a moral and ethical goal, but also by an economic imperative. According to MGI, such measures could increase Canada’s GDP by $150 billion in 2026, boosting its growth by 0.6% per year. Each province would benefit, including British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. However, this impact would require an increase in 1) the presence of women in sectors with high productivity (e.g., technologies), 2) their level of activity and 3) the number of hours worked.

We observe that the highest parities come from countries for which governments legislated a few years ago. What if companies now take up the torch by setting their own goals? Might we then have an excess of job ads, for the greater joy of the female race?

 

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