Swiss company leadership & the gender divide (2019 FIGURES IN SHORT)

March 2019

Author: Florent Schlaeppi

See the tv report (2018) broadcasted in the 1930 (RTS)

A slight increase in the representation of women in the management of Swiss companies in 2019

Between January 2018 and January 2019, a slight increase of 0.3 percentage points in the proportion of decision-making roles held by women, to 23.9%.

645'000 companies, 1'408'000 decision-making roles, held by:


The increase in the proportion of women in decision-making roles this year is slightly higher than the average for the last 10 years, which stands at 0.28 percentage points. We can see a slight acceleration in growth since 2011.

The representation of women on boards of directors increased from 16.8% to 16.9% between 2018 and 2019

In March 2018, we noted that women were under-represented on the boards of directors of Limited companies in Switzerland. This trend is confirmed again this year, since only 16.9% of board mandates are held by women, an increase of only 0.1 percentage point.

During the same period, it is within the roles with lower responsibility that the increase is more pronounced. The representation of women in the roles of "authorized signatories" increased from 27.5% to 27.9%, an increase of 0.4 percentage points.

We note again this year that the highest decision-making roles in Limited companies are those where the increase in the representation of women is the lowest.

More cantonal disparities in 2019 compared to 2018

As in 2018, the canton of Aargau ranks first among the most egalitarian cantons with a 26.7% female representation rate at the head of Swiss companies. Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Zug are still at the bottom of the list with rates of 19.8%, 19.9% and 20.0% respectively.

In terms of variation between January 2018 and January 2019, we observe that the cantons of Jura and Zug have even seen the proportion of women in the management of companies decrease.

The canton of Basel-City recorded the greatest increase, from 25.2% to 26.4%, an increase of more than 1.2 percentage points.

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See the 2018 report