The feminization of governing bodies goes hand in hand with the fight against sexism


“The world we live in means that we are biased in favor of men when it comes to positions of responsibility. Women also internalize this bias, telling themselves, for example, that they cannot be good at mathematics. » This is the observation made by Violetta Zujovic, researcher in neuroscience at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research, in the introduction to the HR Meetings, the monthly management news meeting organized by The world in partnership with ManpowerGroup and Malakoff Humanis. During the March 7 edition, around twenty HRDs discussed women’s access to positions of responsibility.

The expert of the day, also team leader at the Brain Institute, recounted the experience carried out within her research center. “We tried to figure out how to engage our brain to prevent having automaticities that categorize people into a specific role.she explains. There were 63% women at the Brain Institute in 2015, and 5% on decision-making committees. Today, we have managed, in collaboration with the HRD, to reach 50%. »

In the field of gender equality, measurement is the sinews of war. 1er March, all companies with more than a thousand employees had to make public for the first time their differences in representation between women and men among their senior executives and members of their governing bodies, as required by the Rixain law of December 24 2021 aimed at accelerating economic and professional equality.

Read the column: Article reserved for our subscribers “In the governing bodies of companies, women share the seats but not the power”

While a few participants proudly displayed their excellent figures, the discussion focused on the progress that remains to be made. In the branch of supplementary pension and provident institutions, for example, “There are 70% women, 53% in management. In 2015, they were only 20% among senior executives and management committeeslists Marc Landais, HRD of Agirc-Arrco. Since then we have managed to gain seven points (percentage)but we must continue to carry out proactive actions”. Same observation at Korian, with 82% of women, 67% of female managers and only 22% on the executive committee.

Get out of stereotypes

To do this, the establishment of quotas, during recruitment or internal promotions, is undeniably the best way to increase the figures. “If there had not been the Copé-Zimmermann law (which, in 2011, introduced quotas on boards of directors) And (the law) Rixain, do we have such good figures? »advances Rémi Boyer, Group HRD at Korian.

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