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Now, there are only 10 women out of 135 executive committee members in the country’s top companies.Over half still don’t have a single woman in their top teams – and many of those that did are losing them. ON and Siemens all lost women – Siemens lost two (N. as we go to print, we hear they are headhunting a woman to head their energy business).According to a recent survey from Nanyang Technological University, only 12% of publicly listed companies in China have at least one woman senior executive – so we could applaud the fact that 35% of the top 20 do, but it’s hardly comforting.Let’s draw hope from Alibaba (still privately owned and therefore not on our list), where five of the 14 members of its executive team are women.From where does Prime Minister Abe think another 60 women executives will miraculously appear in the next six years, to help him reach his pie-in-the-sky target?His own party has a pitifully low female representation – around 10%.Many of them refuse to marry in order to preserve their jobs and independence in a stiflingly traditional culture. Most companies (70%) now have two or more women on their executive committees. Since last year’s report, five more companies have appointed a woman to the top team.
Here is a short travelogue of corporate gender balancing across a few key countries, based on data from the top 20 Fortune Global 500 companies in each one. France: Pushing quotas and operational roles Last year, following France’s introduction of quotas imposing a minimum of 40% of women on corporate boards, there was a significant improvement of the gender balance on boards. There has been a subsequent improvement from 11% to 15% of female Executive Committee members, and 70% of companies in the top 20 now have at least one woman on their senior executive teams – up from 60% last year.UK: Essentially staying the same The UK top 20 has so far failed to act on the buzz created by the Davies Report, which urges more balance on corporate boards.If UK business is changing, it’s not obvious among their top companies.And three companies still have men-only executive committees. Germany: Still tough for a working gal Last year, Germany had a slight increase in the number of female executives among its top compani, which are fiercely resisting the fast-spreading EU quota legislation (from 6% to 9%).That obviously didn’t go down so well, as this year, Germany has dropped back down to 7%.