A 100% joint management: Axa did it! With the arrival of Alice Holzman as client director on 1 April, the French insurer will have a mixed body in which six women will sit out of a total of twelve people.
“I am delighted that the Axa France Executive Committee, which meets in full, has achieved gender equality,” said Patrick Cohen, CEO of Axa France. “At Axa France, we believe in diversity in all its forms,” he added in comments from News Pro Insurance†
More and more female leaders?
When Axa France communicates about this, it is because the issue of equality within the governing bodies of large companies, where the glass ceiling still hinders women’s careers, is a major issue. To remedy this social problem, France passed the Copé-Zimmermann law in 2011, which provides for 40% of women on boards of directors. The Roxain Act, passed in December 2021, provides for the introduction of 40% quotas for top positions in large companies.
Slowly the mentalities in these large structures are changing, as noted by the consultancy Heidrick & Struggles, in a survey of gender diversity within the benchmark SBF 120 index, which includes the 40 largest French companies in the CAC 40, we can read further on the site of Sustainable info†
Just under a third of the companies that qualified for this survey, 30% have women in management positions. But beware, while some companies have taken a “leading edge,” according to Jennifer Flock, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Heidrick Consulting, the majority of women appointed to leadership positions (68%) are limited to functional buddies, such as HR, finance or communication and CSR. While 86% of the men hold operational positions such as general or commercial management.
To reach the legal thresholds of 40% by 2030, “Companies will not be satisfied with only women in functional positions. There is a threshold effect.says Hervé Borensztejn, Europe & Africa manager of the leadership department at Heidrick & Struggles.
For its part, Axa assures that the key positions assigned to women relate to “business steering positions”, health activities or even international and direct insurance reports the gallery† A positioning that could be imitated elsewhere.