Author: Elodie Vandemeulebroucke
Date of Publication: 02/06/2023
Each year, Forbes magazine unveils its ranking of the world's 500 top CEOs; every time, the ranking is interesting to dissect. Especially when we look at the quota of the under-represented sex, i.e. women. Therefore, it is clear that it is lower if not almost non-existent compared to the quotas of men. In fact, we can see that in 2022, the quota is 44 women out of 500 CEOs. This is an increase over the years when we see that 4 years ago there were only 24 women. So, obviously, it is important to note the progress.
Is it normal for the difference to be still so present and so slow to disappear?
Clearly not. This is why a considerable number of laws have been put in place in recent decades. Indeed, these laws make it possible to impose a gender quota, in favor of women. However, these laws are country-specific. It is clear that for some nations this is not really an issue. That is why the European Union has put in place a law, which will come into force in 2026. This law will require companies to have a 40% quota of the under-represented gender on their board of directors.
Although this law imposes an important change, it remains limiting for women. Indeed, this law will not affect foreign subsidiaries. So, unfortunately, it will only affect a part of the world. However, it remains to progress, which will not only change the quotas but also the mentalities. Actually, these quotas will allow the development of many more training courses, programs, and subsidies for working women. This way, they will highlight their needs more, given their greater numbers.
Racial quotas in companies
When we see this kind of progress, we think that the world of work is finally moving towards equity and equality. But what about racial quotas? Unlike gender quotas, there are no laws, few articles, and few claims to be made.
Why is this? Is it less of an issue?
Absolutely not, it is more than present in the world of work, and it is present in all positions. However, it is a less exposed problem. First of all because it is experienced by minorities. Although today's world is more open, there is no denying that the past is still important in some mentalities. Unfortunately, this is a reality that is all too familiar to people of color.
Today, this discrimination is ignored because of laws that allow employers to be free in their choice. It is clear that this freedom is essential and that not all employers are dishonest. Unfortunately this discrimination is real, and all too often felt. If we look at the Forbes CEO ranking, we see that only 6 people (men and women combined) are black. This means that only 6 people out of 500, or barely 1% are black.
Is it right that a quota of 44 women should push the world to put laws in place? But a quota of 6 black people does not?
So, we have to think about all the problems and all the inequalities. This means thinking about all minorities, whether we are part of them or not. Only this way is there a possibility to bring change.
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