French investors reveal gains for women’s leadership

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According to the 30% Club France Investor Group’s annual report, gender diversity is improving in the SBF 120 but there is still a long way to go.

The 30% Club France Investor Group is pleased to announce the publication of its second annual report. In its second year of the campaign, the 30% Club France Investor Group conducted a wide variety of activities to engage with corporates, stakeholders, and experts, enabling us to develop key observations regarding gender diversity in France.

The 30% Club France Investor Group are stewards of France’s investee companies. Part of that responsibility includes the assessment of their executive management teams. Since 2017, listed companies in France must have a minimum of 40% of women on the Board of Directors under the Copé Zimmermann law. The Rixain Law adopted in 2021 also enforces that Executive Committees have 30% female representation by 2027 and 40% by 2030. 


Last year, the Investor group conducted 18 in-person engagement meetings and conversations and observed that:

– Compared to last year, companies are both more open to engaging with us and more prepared. 

– There is positive momentum emerging in the form of action plans and targeted goals, but these targets as well as their scopes (i.e., the executive body targeted) and time horizons lack homogeneity, making it difficult to work towards the goal of 30% female representation at the highest levels of management.

– Two opposite trends are coming into play. The COVID-19 crisis had a disproportionately negative impact on women in attracting, retaining, and promoting talent while the enforcement of the Rixain Law acted as an accelerator of awareness for the importance of gender diversity.



Member of the French Parliament, Marie-Pierre Rixain said:

By making equality between women and men the great concern of his five-year term, President Emmanuel Macron has helped accelerate the march of history. Indeed, a certain number of blockages in our collective organization still constrain women’s economic room to maneuver and lead to a cascade of consequences. With this in mind, I drafted a bill in 2021 that enshrines new economic rights for women thus allowing them to conquer their status as free and autonomous economic actors.

The number of requests I receive proves that this issue is on the table for all companies now more than ever. Finally, our country is thinking about how to make half of the working population a source of value creation, wealth, and jobs. 

I believe that an increasingly significant proportion of large companies have taken measures for the challenge of gender diversity. In this respect, the law that I introduced – which marks a major change in the management and retention of corporate talent – will accelerate this dynamic by imposing ambitious but achievable targets for the players concerned.

Global Head Sustainable & Impact Investment, Allianz Global Investors, Matt Christensen said: 

“In the two years since the initiative’s launch, I’m pleased to see that the importance of gender diversity is increasingly acknowledged within French companies and that encouraging progress in terms of female representation on executive leadership teams is visible.

Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go. By pooling our efforts under the 30% Club France, we as investors can help move the lines faster to drive genuine and sustainable change by looking not only at the executive committee but also at how companies build a gender-diverse talent pipeline. The 30% by 2025 is the floor, not the ceiling. The Rixain Law on economic and professional equity for women sets 40% by 2030 as the next frontier. We are willing to do our part!”

Where we are

The 30% Club has come a long way from when it was set up in the UK in 2010.We now span six continents and more than 20 countries. We’re actively expanding into more G20 countries