schillingreport 2022

Editorial

In my imagination, in 10 years we will be in a business world where gender diversity will no longer be an issue. Companies and public employers will consistently have 40-60% male female representation across all management levels, and a broad gender mix will be the norm. In retrospect, I am sure that the current year 2022 will stand out as the breakthrough year for this development: Never before has the proportion of women in the management bodies of the Swiss economy increased more strongly, never before have so many vacant management positions, board of directors seats and top management positions been filled with women, never before has the awareness of the Swiss economy been higher with regard to diversity. The dams have been broken, the advance of women is unstoppable, and sustainable success cannot be averted. In everyday business life, I sense that the topic of gender diversity has largely arrived in the companies and in the minds of the board of directors and management. And the great commitment of private and public employers is bearing fruit. Last year it seemed that the awareness phase would last about 10 years, but the current figures clearly show that we are already on the threshold of the acceptance phase, in which the issue of gender diversity will no longer be an issue. I assume that the current developments will act as a catalyst and that we will have reached the acceptance phase after only 5 years. Nevertheless, despite all the positive developments, it should not be forgotten that 54% of the female members of the Executive Board do not have a Swiss passport. The potential of Swiss women is thus far from being exhausted. On the contrary, more than half of the vacant management positions are still filled by foreign women managers. Many countries – France, Norway, Sweden and the UK, to name just a few examples – are already much further ahead on this issue. There, it has been common for women for decades to continue working at a high level even with a family and to pursue a career. Switzerland is known to have a lot of catching up to do in this regard. There are still many employers who are only at the beginning of developing a family-friendly personnel policy and do not yet recognise its added value. The level of women’s return to work after maternity leave is still too rarely a goal of HR strategy and a measure of the success of managers. Employers with a good diversity culture have a clear advantage here, and it will quickly become apparent that they will have fewer difficulties in recruiting top talent.

For several years now, I have been following the fact that more and more companies are strengthening their management with IT, technology and digitalisation expertise with interest. In global competition, digitalisation, respectively the way companies deal with it, is increasingly becoming a key factor for business success. That is why more and more companies are bringing this competence into their management. Just 8 years ago, only 10% of companies employed a CIO, Head of Technology and/or Chief Digital Officer in their top management. Currently, 42% do, and I am convinced that more companies will follow.

Admittedly, our schillingreport is a somewhat dry subject. That is why I am delighted every year that leaders from business and the public administration can be won to share their thoughts on current challenges with us and loosen up the demanding data section a little. I enjoyed reading this year’s interviews with a state secretary and six CEOs and hope that you will do the same.

Yours faithfully, Guido Schilling

1 Executive Summary

Breakthrough on all fronts in the generation project on the way to a balanced gender mix. The SMI companies point the way: In their management boards, the share of women climbs by 5 percentage points (+36%) to 19%, and on the supervisory board the threshold of 30% is crossed – 3 years before the end of the transition period. Among the 100 largest employers in Switzerland, for the first time more companies (34%) employ at least 2 women on their management boards than none (31%). At the same time, the share of women on their management boards increases by 4 percentage points to 17% (+31%). Assuming the same development, the companies should reach the required threshold of 20% by 2024 at the latest, 6 years before the end of the transition period. In the private sector, the share of women on the supervisory board rises to 26% (+2 percentage points); here, too, the threshold of 30% will be reached as early as 2024. The public sector already has 23% women in top executive positions.

The Management Boards of Switzerland’s Private and Public Sector

The 100 largest Swiss employers appointed a woman to 36% of vacant executive board positions. This figure has never been higher, as last year it reached the previous high of 26%. 69% of companies employ at least one woman on the executive board. Considering that this figure was 41% just 4 years ago, you can see what a big step companies have taken in this generation project in the past 48 months alone. Never before has it been so dynamic and the awareness of the supervisory and management boards regarding a balanced gender mix been as great as it is today. By the end of the transition periods – 2025 for supervisory boards and 2030 for management boards – companies will have exceeded the 30% and 20% levels respectively by far. We are facing the transition to the acceptance phase, in which a balanced gender mix will be the standard, earlier than expected.

Looking at the data in terms of diversity, the 17th edition of the schillingreport shows that – in addition to the very encouraging development in terms of gender mix – the proportion of foreigners on the executive boards rises slightly to 44% (43% in the previous year). It should be emphasized that this stagnation at a high level is supported by 50% foreign executive board members among the newly appointed board members (40% and 49% in the previous years). The executive board members are from 30 countries besides Switzerland. Among the new female executive board members, the percentage of managers without a Swiss passport is 54%, with 78% of these being «nationals», i.e., women who were already employed
in Switzerland or in a Swiss firm before being appointed to their current
position.

SMI leads the Way and already achieves the required Gender Guidelines
With 19% female members on the executive boards and 30% female members on the supervisory boards, the SMI confirms its pioneering role in gender diversity. The required thresholds can be considered achieved. On the supervisory boards, SMI companies are already working towards a target corridor of 40 to 60% women. Remarkable: With 19% women on the management boards, the SMI overtakes the German DAX – newly including 40 companies – with 18% female executive board members. In the old composition with 30 companies, the percentage of women on the board is also 19 %. In the DAX supervisory boards, the share of women in the new composition climbs to 35%, in the old composition to 37%, while the SMI breaks through the 30% mark in the supervisory boards. All 20 SMI companies employ women on their supervisory boards, only 4 companies do not yet have a woman on the executive board, with one of them already having announced a new female executive to start in 2022.

Federal Administration with a Peak of 38% Women in Top Executive Positions
The share of women in the top senior positions of the public sector grows from 21% to 23%. This consistent growth was achieved by 39% women among the newly appointed top executives – the highest figure to date. The driving force behind this development is the Federal Administration, which filled 50% of all vacancies with women for the third time in a row and records a 38% share of women in top executive positions (37% in the previous year). Looking only at the cantons, they employ 22% women in senior public official positions (21% in the previous year), with 38% women among the newly appointed. Walk the talk, you could say, the Federal Administration not only demands it, but exemplifies it.

More and More Companies with Technology/Digitalisation Expertise in the Executive Boards
Until 2014, only 10% of the 100 largest employers had a technology/digitalisation position at executive management level. In 2018, this figure jumped to 28% and has since steadily increased to the current 42%. Women hold this role at 6 companies. Digitalisation is becoming a strategic dimension for many companies, which can be clearly documented with the strong increase of this function in the executive boards. Seamless digital processes, Industry 4.0, remote working and the connection to customers, partners and suppliers are key factors in global competition.

Increasingly older CEOs and CFOs
Over the past 10 years, the average age of CEOs and CFOs has risen steadily. Whereas until 2012 the age of CEOs was 52 and the new CEOs were 48, the current figures are 55 and 52, respectively. A similar development can be seen with CFOs. In 2012, they were 49 years old and the newly appointed 47 years old; currently the CFOs are 53 years old and the newly appointed 50 years old. At the same time, the average age of all executive board members has risen less sharply over the past 10 years, from 51 to 53. In the aftermath of the world financial and euro crises, did the supervisory boards increasingly rely on many years of proven professional experience when choosing a CEO or CFO or a new member of the executive board? Are experienced senior manager more suitable to deal with the increasing complexity of the economy? Are companies currently sufficiently diverse, in terms of age, to master the global challenges? What are the causes of this development?

2 Introduction

For 17 years now, guido schilling ag has collected data on the composition of the executive and supervisory boards of the 100 largest Swiss companies. Four years ago, we began looking at the public sector, analysing the top management of all 26 cantons and the federal administration. In addition, guido schilling ag makes a request every 2 years for the 250 largest Swiss companies to disclose their statistics on the gender diversity pipeline to determine the potential for women in upper and middle management. The schilling report seeks to create «Transparency at the Top», and this is why it is recognised as an independent source for in-depth analysis of Switzerland’s management positions.

The statistics on the executive and supervisory boards of Switzerland’s 100 largest employers were gathered by the guido schilling ag internal project team. Our own research, personal interviews and direct enquiries, even at companies that do not normally make their statistics public, are what make the results of the survey so meaningful. The data completeness rate is 97% for the executive boards and 99% for the supervisory boards. The statistics on the public sector were also gathered by the internal project team, and verified by the majority of cantons, as well as the federal administration.

The 250 most important companies were surveyed directly for statistics on the gender diversity pipeline, since this data is not publicly available or researchable. The survey of the 100 largest companies and the public sector was completed on 31 December 2021. Since the statistics on the gender diversity pipeline are only gathered once every two years, that survey was completed on 31 December 2020.

Statistics are also gathered on the subgroups of women, foreigners, SMI companies, as well as CEOs and supervisory board presidents, to examine trends and developments there.

This year, the schillingreport includes a series of interviews with CEOs, as well as a female representative of the public sector. In addition to the data gathered and analysed, these interviews offer interesting and diverse insights.

3 General Information about the Report

Since five years the survey of Switzerland’s largest employers additionally includes the public sector and the composition of its top management, as well as the gender diversity pipeline of the 250 largest Swiss companies. This expanded content included some important findings in the first year, and will also reveal exciting developments in the coming years. The internal project team used the broadest possible channels to conduct its research for the schillingreport, gathering additional data directly from the companies. Even companies that rarely disclose information have provided statistics that are unavailable to the general public. The consistency of the data continues to be solid in the report’s 17th year of publication.

Annex

For the schillingreport, an additional Annex has been prepared with comprehensive information on the results of the new surveys of the public sector and gender diversity pipelines. The Annex also contains additional information on the educational background of board members, languages spoken in the public sector etc., not included in the report, therefore providing a broad overview of the survey samples. All of the statistics gathered from 2006 to 2016 for the traditional schillingreport, with an analysis of Switzerland’s 100 largest employers, are available in a separate Annex.

The Samples

A list of all companies included in the survey is found at the end of the Report. For better orientation, several of the samples on the list are highlighted by an appropriate colour to distinguish between them.

Private Sector
Switzerland's 100 Largest Employers
Public Sector
26 Cantons and the Federal Administration
Gender Diversity Pipeline
Survey of the 250 Largest Swiss Companies
Executive BoardsSupervisory BoardsTop Officials
Federal Chancellor
Cantonal Chancellors
General Secretaries
Department Heads
Federal Councillors/
Government Councillors
Executive Boards
Senior Management
Middle Management
General Workforce
Supervisory Boards

The sample of the private economy, with the 100 largest Swiss employers, continues to be designated in the survey as the Private Sector, as it has been since 2006. The gender diversity pipeline sample, for which the 250 most important Swiss companies were surveyed, is titled Gender Diversity Pipeline. The 20 Swiss Market Index (SMI) companies were surveyed separately for both the private sector and the gender diversity pipeline. The public sector sample includes all 26 cantons, as well as the federal administration.  The survey of the 100 largest companies and the public sector was completed on 31 December 2021. Since the statistics on the gender diversity pipeline are only gathered once every two years, that survey was completed on 31 December 2020.

Regarding the gender diversity pipeline, the situation at the two management levels below the executive board were also examined to determine whether there was any potential for the women there to move up to the next level. Senior management refers to the management teams of the executive board members, and middle management refers to those who directly report to senior management. Thus, the survey provides an overview of the three top operational management levels of the companies. For comparison purposes, the corresponding statistics for the entire workforce are examined.

The size of the samples can vary from question to question. This is because the complete data from all individuals is not available for some survey questions. With few exceptions, all percentages are rounded off to whole numbers in accordance with accepted rules, since decimal places reflect an unrealistic precision.

The survey places special emphasis on new members joining the management boards during the survey period, since this is often the best way to identify new developments and trends.

The private sector sample includes both corporate groups as well as subsidiaries that meet the criteria for selection. This apparent duplication is necessary because some subsidiaries have a dominant position on the Swiss market. For example, the survey includes both the parent company, Zurich Insurance Group, and the Swiss subsidiary, Zurich Versicherungs-Gesellschaft AG. Another example of this in this report is UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, with their subsidiaries, UBS Switzerland AG and Credit Suisse (Switzerland) AG. Subsidiaries, branches and corporate divisions were consistently omitted in the survey of the supervisory boards.

Executive Boards/Top Managers/Gender-Diversity-PipelinePrivate SectorPublic SectorGender-Diversity-Pipeline
202220212022202120222021
Total companies/organisations surveyed1381382727250
Companies/organisations actually included in the report119100%119100%27100%27100%145100%
Complete information available11597%11597%2074%2074%13291%

The size of the private sector sample varies over the years due to mergers, takeovers and the structure of SMIs. A company may also undergo internal changes so that it no longer meets the criteria for inclusion in the schillingreport. For the private sector, the schilling report currently surveys 895 executive board members at 119 companies. For the public sector, 1030 top executives in 26 cantons and in the federal administration are included in the survey. Of the 249 companies approached for the gender diversity pipeline survey, 129 made their statistics available.

Supervisory Boards/Top Managers/Gender-Diversity-PipelinePrivate SectorPublic SectorGender-Diversity-Pipeline
202220212022202120222021
Total companies/organisations surveyed99992727250
Companies/organisations actually included in the report92100%92100%27100%27100%145100%
Complete information available9199%9199%27100%27100%13794%

The sample of the supervisory boards in the private sector is smaller than that of the executive boards, since the supervisory boards of Swiss subsidiaries and corporate divisions were not included. Inclusion of these boards would distort the picture of the sample. The schillingreport currently surveys 837 supervisory board members at 92 companies. For the public sector, 160 federal/governing council members were surveyed to determine the percentage of women. For the gender diversity pipeline, the supervisory boards of 129 companies were examined.

Breakdown of the Surveyed Companies by Industry

For the private sector, the 2022 schillingreport surveyed 119 companies from 11 different industries. The predominant industries were the manufacturing sector (36), and retail/consumer goods (17). There are 25 companies from the financial services sector, i.e. insurance and banking.

For the gender diversity pipeline survey, 145 companies from 11 different industries were surveyed. The predominant industries in this survey were banking and manufacturing, with 33 from each being surveyed. There are 43 companies from the financial services sector, i.e. insurance and banking, in this survey.

4 Management Boards of the Private and Public Sectors

The first section of the schillingreport concerns the composition of the executive and supervisory boards of the private sector, and that of the posts held by senior executives, as well as those on federal and cantonal government councils of the public sector.

4.1 Composition of the Boards

Executive Boards and Senior Managers

Composition of the EBs and Senior ManagementPrivate SectorPublic Sector
Overall SampleNewOverall SampleNew
Number of companies/organisations11927
Total members895100%139100%1030100%119100%
Number of women14817%5036%23623%4639%
Number of men74783%8964%79477%7361%
Number of Swiss members49856%7151%
Number of foreigners39744%6849%
Number of new members13916%11911%

Between 2006 and 2016, the proportion of women on executive boards rose from 4% to 6%, the proportion of women among newly elected executive board members being relatively low. In 2017 the percentage of female members on executive boards leapt from 6% to 8% in the private sector and dropped back to 7% in 2018. In 2019 the proportion of women among the new members rose to 9% with 18% newly appointed female members. In 2021, the share of women on the executive boards in the private sector rose from 10% to 13%. This leap was achieved thanks to 26% women among the newly appointed. Currently, 36% of the vacant executive board seats are filled by women – the highest figure to date. For the first time, the share of women on the executive boards has risen by 4 percentage points to 17%. The public sector achieves a proportion of women in top positions of 23%. At 11%, the fluctuation in the public sector is lower than in the private sector at 14%, but the proportion of women among the newly appointed top executives is slightly higher at 39% than in the private sector at 36%. The public sector, for example, has seen a leap from 21% to 23% female top executives.

The survey only examined the percentage of foreigners in the private sector, since senior public officials are almost exclusively Swiss citizens, and a survey of the percentage of foreigners has no relevance. In the private sector, the share of foreigners on executive boards stagnated at 44%, with 49% of the new management board members in the survey year being foreigners. In other words, almost half of the newly appointed executive board members do not hold a Swiss passport.

Supervisory Boards and Federal/Governing Councils

Composition of the Supervisory Boards and Federal/Governing CouncilsPrivate SectorPublic Sector
Overall SampleNewOverall Sample
Number of companies/organisations9227
Total members837100%84100%156100%
Number of women21826%2732%4428%
Number of men61974%5768%11272%
Number of Swiss members53464%5363%
Number of foreigners30336%3137%
Number of new members8410%

Of the supervisory board members in the private sector, 26% are women (2021: 24%). Among the newly appointed supervisory board members, 32% are women. Almost every third vacant seat on the supervisory boards is filled by a woman. Among those serving on the political boards of the federal government and the cantons, 28% (2021: 26%) of all federal and governing council members are women, while 43% (2021: 43%) of those serving as councillors in the federal government alone are women.

The share of foreigners on supervisory boards of the private sector is 36% (2021: 36%), while 37% of the newly elected supervisory board members do not hold a Swiss passport. This survey of foreigners was not conducted in the public sector because political officeholders are almost exclusively Swiss citizens.

4.2 Areas of Responsibility of Senior Federal and Cantonal Officials, and of Executive Board Members

Areas of Responsibility of Top Federal and Cantonal Officials

Overall SampleFederal Chancellor/
Cantonal Chancellors
General SecretariesDepartment Heads
Existing91124148746
New119312104
Total103027160850

In addition to the overall sample, three different areas of responsibilities or function groups are identified at the top levels of the public sector. The 26 cantonal chancellors and the federal chancellor are examined separately, as are the general secretaries and department heads.

Areas of Responsibility of Executive Board Members
Executive board members are divided into business and service functions in the survey. The business function includes all turnover-related positions at the company and/or all functions in the company’s core business, such as sales, marketing responsibilities, research and development, and production. Service functions are all positions that play a supporting role at the company and have no direct impact on sales, such as human resources and communication.

Areas of Responsibility of EB MembersAreas of Responsibility of New EB Members
Business FunctionService FunctionBusiness FunctionService Function
Overall Sample64772%24828%9266%4734%
Men57477%17423%6472%2528%
Women7350%7450%2856%2244%

While 72% of executive board members have a business function, the figure for new members is 66%. Among women, 50% have a business function, while the figure is 56% for new female members. While the half of the women (50%) manage a support unit, a more then three quarters (77%) of the male executive board members work in the company’s core business, and just a quarter in managing service units.

4.3 Experience of the Board Members

When examining the experience of the board members in the private sector, two essential questions arise: What professional experience did the executive and supervisory board members have prior to being appointed to a board? And how long have they been at the company? In the public administration, on the other hand, the question of the permeability of the boundary between the public and private sector arises.

Private Sector

Executive Boards

Expierence of the EB MembersOverall SampleNew
Size of the sample882100%139100%
Worked at the company beforehand51158%8863%
Sat on another EB beforehand18921%2820%
Worked at the company and sat on another EB beforehand445%--
No prior experience at the company or on another EB13816%2317%

A total of 63% of executive board members worked at the company prior to joining the board and were recruited internally. This indicates the importance of managing internal talent. Among executive board members, 26% had sat on the board of another company prior to being appointed. By contrast, just 16% had no relevant experience at the same company or on another executive board. This is due in part to the recruitment from large corporate groups of managers who had not held posts on the top management board of the company, but instead on a lower board at the divisional level of corporate management, for example. Among new members, 17% had neither experience on another executive board nor were recruited internally. 63% of the newly appointed managers were already working at the company when they were appointed to the executive board. The number of new managers with experience on another executive board was 20%.

Average Experience of EB MembersOn the Current EBAt the CompanyAt the Company before joining the EB
Overall sample5 years
Worked at the company beforehand5 years17 years12 years
Worked at the company and sat on another EB beforehand5 years12 years7 years
Sat on another EB beforehand5 years
No prior experience at the company or on another EB4 years

There were some particularly interesting findings in the analysis of the average experience of executive board members. An examination of the period during which an executive board member has been employed at a company reveals that managers promoted internally must work at the company longer (an average of 12 years) before they are appointed to the executive board than members with external experience at the same hierarchical level – even if only at an SME. The latter are appointed to the management board after an average of just 5 years.

Supervisory Boards

Background of the SB MembersOverall SampleNew
Worked at the company beforehand12715%89%
Previously CEO at the company1814%337.5%
Previously on the EB of the company1512%--
Previously EB member and CEO at the company43%--
Previously neither EB member nor CEO at the company9071%562.5%

A total of 837 supervisory board members were surveyed this year. Of these, 127 had already worked for the company before joining the board (15%). Of the latter, 14% were CEOs, 12% were part of executive board, and another 3% held both of these posts. Therefore, experience at the company is an important factor in being selected to serve on the supervisory board. However, an even more interesting statistic is that, before being appointed, 11% of all 837 supervisory board members sat on the executive board of another company included in the schillingreport. 71 people in the sample are members of several supervisory boards, holding a total of 158 seats. In addition, 4 executive board members also sit on the supervisory board of another company included in the report.

Average Experience of SB MembersOn the current SBAt the CompanyAt the Company before joining the SB
Overall Sample7 years
Worked at the company beforehand9 years22 years13 years

The average supervisory board member has held the post for 7 years. With an average of 9 years, supervisory board members who worked in operations at the company beforehand have a little more seniority. They have been with the company an average of 22 years and were appointed to the supervisory board after an average of 13 years. The new supervisory board members were appointed to the strategic management board after an average of 14 years.

Public Sector

In analysing the experience of the senior officials of the public administration, the issue of the permeability of the boundary between the public and private sector comes to the forefront. It is also interesting to learn what career experience these individuals had prior to taking their current position, and how long they have been working for the cantonal/federal government overall.

Length of Service

Overall SampleFederal Chancellor/
Cantonal Chancellors
General SecretariesDepartment Heads
7 years8 years7 years7 years
Women4 years6 years5 years4 years
Men8 years9 years8 years7 years

The average length of service of the individuals surveyed is 7 years. The male cantonal chancellors have served the longest, an average of 9 years. The survey results show that women have served less time than men overall in those posts. The cantonal chancellors, both men and women, stand out here too. The length of service of male cantonal chancellors is on average 3 years longer than their female counterparts.

Experience

Overall SampleLength of Service in Current PositionLength of Service in the CantonYears in the Canton before Current Position
Previously worked in same canton (continuously)50255%7 years18 years11 years
Did not previously work in same canton38442%7 years

Before assuming their current post, 55% of the individuals surveyed worked continuously in the same canton or in the federal administration. Therefore, more than half of these senior officials were recruited internally. On average, these persons have been working in the federal/cantonal administration for 18 years, achieved their current post in 11 years, and have been working in it for an average of 7 years. Those who had not previously worked in the same canton or in the federal administration have also been working an average of 7 years in their current post. Another 3% were appointed to their position from outside, but had already worked in the same canton and or in the federal administration before.

Permeability

Overall SampleFederal Chancellor/
Cantonal Chancellors
General SecretariesDepartment Heads
Previously worked in the same canton51658%1664%8663%41757%
Previously worked in private sector26536%421%3435%22533%
Previously worked in the public sector36750%1263%4748%36753%
Previously worked in the private and public sector9914%316%1717%9914%

Overall, 58% of the senior officials surveyed already worked for their current cantonal/federal employer prior to taking their current post: 95% of them have continuously worked there, while 5% left the canton/federal administration and returned later. A total of 50% of these individuals once worked in the private sector before taking their current position. 2021 it was a bit less with 47%. In 2020, this figure was 49% and 2019 it was 48%. The boundary between the private and the public sector increased from 32% (2021) to current 36%. A total of 64% had previously worked for another public administration. And 14% had previously worked in both the private as well as the public sector. This means that many public managers have accumulated extensive experience throughout their careers beyond the organisation they work for now, facilitating a broader view of the professional world.

Of the 119 people who were newly appointed to their posts in the survey period, 53% were recruited internally (2021: 63%). A total of 49% of the new people previously worked in another public administration capacity, while 26% had experience in the private sector, 13% in both public administration and the private sector, with 25% having begun their career with their current employer. In most cases, cantonal chancellors are recruited from within the cantons/federal government. In this survey, 64% of the cantonal chancellors were recruited internally for their posts. This figure is 63% in the case of the general secretaries, and 57% for department heads. Over half of the general secretaries (52%) have experience in the private sector, while 47% of department heads, and a third, or 37%, of the chancellery supervisors do.

4.4 Age of the Board Members

A person’s age is often equated with their experience. This chapter details the average age of board members and the changes in average age over the years.

Private Sector

Executive Boards

Average Age of the EB MembersOverall SampleNew
Overall Sample53 years50 years
Men53 years49 years
Women51 years50 years
Swiss members 53 years50 years
Foreigners54 years51 years
SMI54 years51 years

Executive board members are on average 53 years old and new executive board members 50 years old. Both average ages have gone up in the past few years. The average age of the new members has increased by 4 years since 2008, at which time they were 46 years old. The increase in age also became apparent 3 years later in the overall sample: In 2011 the executive board members were 50 years old – 3 years younger than today. Female executive board members are now 51 years old, which makes them 2 years younger than their male colleagues (53 years). Swiss and foreign executive board members are and 54 years old, respectively. At 51, the new foreign executive board members are 1 year older than their Swiss counterparts (50 years).

Supervisory Boards

Average Age of the SB MembersOverall SampleNew
Overall sample59 years55 years
Men61 years57 years
Women56 years55 years
Swiss members59 years56 years
Foreigners60 years57 years
SMI60 years55 years

The age of supervisory board members has remained unchanged at 59 since 2011. They are 4 years older than the new board members (55 years). Female supervisory board members are 56 years old – 5 years younger than their male colleagues (61 years). The new female supervisory board members are 55 years old and the new male supervisory board members are 57 years old. The Swiss supervisory board members are 59 years old thus one year younger than the foreign supervisory board members with 60 years. Among the new supervisory board members, foreigners are on average 57 years old, 1 year older than the Swiss (56 years).

Public Sector

Top Federal and Cantonal Officials

Average Age of Top Federal and Cantonal OfficialsOverall SampleFederal Chancellor/
Cantonal Chancellors
General SecretariesDepartment Heads
SampleNewSampleNewSampleNewSampleNew
Overall Sample53 years49 years53 years45 years50 years45 years54 years50 years
Men54 years50 years54 years41 years51 years45 years54 years51 years
Women51 years48 years52 years46 years48 years45.5 years54 years49 years

Senior public officials in federal and cantonal administration are on average 53 years old and the new senior officials 49 years. The average age of female senior officials is 51 years. The men are 3 years older (54 years). The new female senior officials are 48 and the new male senior officials are 50 years old.

The average age of federal chancellors and cantonal chancellors (male and female) has remained unchanged at 52 years since surveying began in 2016 until the year before last. Since last year a slight increase to 53 years was observed. Women are 52 years old and thus 2 years younger than their male colleagues (54 years).

The average age of general secretaries (male and female) remains unchanged to the previous year at 50 years. Since surveying began in 2016, the average age has increased by 1 year. Women are 48 years old and thus 3 year s younger than their male colleagues (51 years).

The average age of department heads (male and female) rises slightly compared to the previous year (53 years) to 54 years. Since surveying began in 2016 the average age has increased by 2 years. Both women and men are 54 years old.

4.5 Length of Employment of Resigned Board Members

This chapter shows how long board members who resigned during the survey period had been employed. This observation offers fascinating insights into how women, men, Swiss and foreigners differ in the length of time they stay at their posts. 

Private Sector

Executive Boards

Average Length of Employment of Resigned EB MembersIn EBIn EB (not in the Company beforehand)In EB (in the Company beforehande)In the Company
Overall Sample1334688
Sample7 years6 years7 years13 years
Men7 years7 years7 years13 years
Women3 years3 years3 years14 years
Swiss members7 years7 years8 years13 years
Foreigners5 years5 years6 years12 years

During the past year, 133 executive board members left their posts. They had been active board members for 7 years on average – same length as the previous year. The 17 female executive board members remained 3 years in office, the 116 men 7 years. Consequently, women stayed on executive boards for a shorter time than men. In the previous year, men had also been 7 years on executive boards and the women who resigned 4 years.

Female executive board members who had been internally recruited stayed 3 years in office. Externally recruited women stayed also 3 years on the board. The reverse is true for men: Men who were internally recruited stayed 7 years, externally recruited also 7 years.

The Swiss stayed 7 years on the executive board, foreigners only 5 years. As was seen in both prior years, the Swiss stayed longer on executive boards than foreigners.

Supervisory Boards

Average Length of Employment of Resigned SB Membersin SBOverall Sample
Overall sample9 years87
Men10 years74
Women7 years13
Swiss members9 years53
Foreigners9 years34

Last year 87 supervisory board members left their posts. On average they stayed 9 years on the supervisory board – 1 year less than in the previous year. The 13 female supervisory board members remained for 7 years, but the 74 supervisory board members who left served for 10 years (2019 both 11 years). Last year, the Swiss and the foreigners stayed on the supervisory board for 9 years. As was seen in both prior years, the Swiss stayed longer on the supervisory board than foreigners.

Public Sector

Top Federal and Cantonal Officials

Average Length of Employment of Top Federal and Cantonal OfficialsOverall SampleFederal Chancellor/
Cantonal Chancellors
General SecretariesDepartment Heads
Overall Sample8 years11 years11 years9 years
Men8 years24 years11 years9 years
Women5 years4.5 years-7 years

Last year 102 senior officials in federal and cantonal administration left their post. Data is available on the appointment date for 79 senior officials. On average senior officials stayed 8 years in office – same length as last year. Men stayed in their post for 8 years, women 5 years. Across all groups, men stayed in office longer than women. For cantonal chancellors, no resignations were recorded. The 10 general secretaries stayed 11 years in office. The 61 department heads stayed 9 years on average in office – men 9 years, the women 7 years.

5 Gender Diversity of the Private and Public Sectors

This chapter focuses on the percentages of women in the examined samples of the private and public sectors as well as the gender diversity pipeline of the participating companies. The gender diversity pipeline sample, in which the 250 most important Swiss companies were surveyed, is different from that of the 100 largest Swiss employers surveyed since 2006. For this report, the figures from 2021 were used. For this year’s report, no new figures are available, the figures from 2021 apply. This chapter therefore only gives a brief overview this year.

Overview of the Percentage of Women

LevelGender Diversity PipelinePublic Sector
SB Presidency7%
Supervisory Boards/Government and Federal Council20%25%
CEO6%
Executive Boards/Senior Public Officials13%21%
Senior Management18%29%
Middle Management25%29%
Total workforce36%45%

For the 145 companies surveyed, the percentage of women on the supervisory board is 20%, 1 percentage point higher than the figure for the last survey in 2019. Supervisory board president positions amount to 7% (2019: 3%). While 36% of the total workforce is made up of women, 25% work in middle management and 18% in top management. A clear and continuous decline in the proportion of women can be observed from one hierarchical level to the next. At the executive board level, this percentage has again fallen sharply; in the companies surveyed, women account for 13%. At each of these levels, the proportion of women has increased between 1 and 3 percentage points each since 2019. 6% of CEOs are women. In the public sector sample, 16 cantons and the Swiss Federation evaluated their percentages of women at the levels below senior public officials, and the picture is similar to that of the 145 private sector companies, although with higher values. All 26 cantons and the federal administration were evaluated for the senior public officials. In the included cantons, almost half of the workforce consists of women with 45% (2019: 47%), 29% at middle management level (2019: 28%) and 29% at senior management level (2019: 22%).

Gender-Diversity-Pipeline Private Sector

Gender-Diversity-Pipeline Public Sector

The figures above can be easily displayed as a pipeline by means of these graphs, which clearly shows that the percentages of women are significantly higher in the lower levels than at management level. The pyramid shape is characteristic of many participating companies and their industry values, with large differences in the proportion of women within the industries.

6 Nationalities in the Private Sector

The internationalisation of companies also brings changes to their management boards. It is not just the best managers in Switzerland who are in demand today but the best international managers. A clear sign of this is that English is increasingly becoming the corporate language. This trend merits special consideration. A survey of nationalities in the public sector was not conducted, since the public sector employs almost exclusively Swiss citizens, and a survey of the percentage of foreigners is of no relevance.

6.1 Executive Boards

Overview of Foreign EB Members

OverviewOverall SampleNew
Number of companies119
Total EB members895100%139100%
Number of foreigners39744%6950%
Number of foreigners397100%69100%
Number of women7920%2739%
Number of men31880%4261%
Number of CEOs119100%11100%
Number of foreigners4538%764%
Number of SMI EB members183100%29100%
Number of foreigners13574%2379%

The proportion of foreigners on executive boards rose continuously by 9 percentage points from 2006 to 2011, from 36% to 45%. Since then, it appears to have settled at this level and currently stands at 44%. While foreigners accounted for 60% of the newly appointed members in 2016 and 64% in 2017, the figure was only 38% in 2018 and 54% again in 2019. Last year, the share of foreigners among new members was 40%; currently, this number is 50%. The number of new foreigners on executive boards is slightly lower than the number who have left, which explains the lower percentage of foreigners in the overall sample.

After stagnating at 63% between 2016 and 2018, the proportion of foreigners on the management boards of SMI companies rose to 65% in 2019 and to 67% in 2020. Currently the figure stands at 74% again. This share is therefore well above the overall sample, which is 44%, representing a difference of 30 percentage points.

The number of foreigners among the CEOs increased by 4 percentage points and is now 38% (2021: 34%). Among the foreigners in the overall sample, the percentage of women, at 20%, is more than the share in the overall average (17%). Among the new foreign CEOs, 39% are women, which is also slightly higher as in the overall sample (36%). In 2021, this figure was less with 27%.

There are no Swiss members on 14 of the executive boards examined in the report (12%), while all of the executive board members at 22 of the 119 companies surveyed (19%) are Swiss. Last year, this figure was higher, by 23%. Both of these figures are low, which means that the companies have mixed management boards in terms of nationality.

Nationality of Foreign EB Members

Most of the foreign executive board members continue to be from Germany (112 of 397, or 28%). The 94 Anglo-Saxons (U.S., GB, AUS, CAN, IRL) represent a total of 25% (2021: 24%). Germans and Anglo-Saxons also represent the majority of the 69 new executive board members. The 16 German members account for 23%, representing an increase from last year (2021: 17%). In contrast, the 19 Anglo-Saxons now represent 28% (2021: 25%).

6.2 Supervisory Boards

Overview of Foreign SB Members

OverviewOverall SampleNew
Number of companies92
Total SB members837100%84100%
Number of foreigners30336%3542%
Number of foreigners303100%35100%
Number of women9632%1543%
Number of men20768%2057%
Number of SB presidents92100%5100%
Number of foreigners2022%240%
Number of SMI SB presidents215100%19100%
Number of foreigners13261%1158%

At 36%, the proportion of foreigners on the supervisory board is equal as the previous year and 8 percentage points lower than on the executive boards (44%). At 22%, the number of foreign supervisory board presidents is 1 percentage point higher than the previous year. The number of foreign CEOs increased from 34% to 38%. The proportion of women among the foreigners is 32%, somewhat higher than the 26% in the overall sample, and it has continuously increased since the survey began. Among new foreign members, women represent 43%, significantly higher than the 32% of the overall sample. The 61% of foreign supervisory board members at SMI companies is 25 points higher than that of all foreign supervisory board members (36%).

At 3 of the companies surveyed (4%), there are no Swiss supervisory board members, while all of the supervisory board members at 21 of the 92 companies surveyed (23%) are Swiss.

Nationality of Foreign SB Members

The 76 Germans are also the largest group among the 303 foreign supervisory board members, representing 25%. The U.S. is the second largest group with 17% (50 people), followed by Great Britain with 9% (27), and Austrian with 5% (16). There are a total of 94 Anglo-Saxons (U.S., GB, CAN, AUS, IRL) representing 29%. Among those from German-speaking countries, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein make up a total of 31% of foreign supervisory board members (93 people), which is 2 percentage point more than the Anglo-Saxons. While there are more than twice as many Germans on executive boards as U.S. citizens, the situation is different on supervisory boards: Although there are also more Germans on supervisory boards, they represent only about 8 percentage point more than the Americans.

This year there are 35 new foreign supervisory board members, reflecting an interesting trend with respect to previous years. In 2018, the Germans represented the largest group by far with 31%, followed by the U.S. with 18% and the British with 8%. Overall, Anglo-Saxons (U.S., GB, CAN, IRL) represented 31% (12) of the new supervisory board members, while Germans and Austrians represented a total of 33% (13 members). In 2019, members from the U.S. represented 18% (9) of the new supervisory board members, followed by the Germans, who represented 14% (7), and ahead of the British, who represented 10% (5). Altogether, the Anglo-Saxon countries represented 36% of the new supervisory board members. In 2020, Germans were again second with 3 new supervisory board members (10%) behind the U.S. with 12 (39%), but in front of the Anglo-Saxons (British and Canadian), the Netherlands and Spain with 2 seats (6%) each. Again Germans represent the largest group with 20% (7) ahead of the U.S. Americans with 14% (5) and the Great Britain. The Anglo-Saxon countries (U.S., GB, CAN, IRL) foreign supervisory board members with 26% (9) than Germans and Austrians together, with 24%.

6.3 Women

Overview

Executive BoardsSupervisory Boards
Overall SampleNewOverall SampleNew
Total female members148100%50100%218100%31100%
Number of Swiss women6846%2346%12156%1548%
Number of foreign women8054%2754%9744%1652%
Total female CEOs/SB presidents9100%4100%6100%--
Number of Swiss women667%250%583%--
Number of foreign women333%250%117%--
Total female SMI members36100%13100%63100%8100%
Number of Swiss women514%215%1930%337.5%
Number of foreign women3186%1185%4470%562.5%
Total female SMI CEOs/SB presidents----1100%1100%
Number of Swiss women----1100%1100%
Number of foreign women--------

Among the female executive board members, there are again less Swiss nationals (46%) than last year (2021: 48%). At 56%, there are also less Swiss women on supervisory boards than last year (2021: 58%), although the figure has levelled off at 60% over the last 5 years. The proportion of foreign women both on executive and supervisory boards has increased continuously over the entire survey period, which suggests that the self-image of women pursuing a career is higher abroad than in Switzerland. Socially, politically and corporately Switzerland has a lot of catching up to do in this area.

Nationality of Foreign Women on Executive Boards

The U.S. Americans represent the largest group of foreign women: 22% (18) of all foreign women on executive boards hold an U.S. passport (2021: 22%). German women are the second largest group (16) at 20% (2021: 21%), followed by women from France (15) with 18.5% (2021 17%), Great Britains and Italian (6) with each 7%, Austria and Sweden each 3 (4%), and Belgium and Denmark each 2 (3%). Among the 50 new members, there are 7 French and U.S. American  women each (14%), from Germany and Great Britain are each 3 (6%). Among the 13 new female SMI executive board members 14% hold a Swiss passport (2021: 20%), the 11 foreign women are from USA (4), France and Great Britain (each 2), Germany, Italy and Sweden (each 1).

Nationality of Foreign Women on Supervisory Boards

Among supervisory board members, 56% are Swiss women. This figure was 58% last year, and 60% the year before. Among the 97 foreign women on supervisory boards, 37% (36) are Anglo-Saxon, and more than half of them (22% or 21 people) hold a U.S. passport. Among all women on the supervisory boards, 21% (20) are German, 5% (5) are French, while Canadian and Austrian women each represent 4% (4) and Chinese, Swedish, Singaporean and South African 3% with 3 female supervisory board members each. Another 4 countries are represented by each 2 female supervisory board members, or 2% in each case and 10 countries 1 woman each (1%). If SMI companies are excluded from the analysis, the proportion of Swiss women (102) among the 154 supervisory board members is 66%. This is explained by the fact that 45% (44) of all 97 of the foreign female supervisory board members work at SMI companies. Therefore, SMI-listed companies are the most internationalised with respect to female supervisory board members.

7 A Look at Interesting Subgroups

This separate analysis of interesting subgroups and industries is based on extensive findings in the private sector and on the gender diversity pipeline, and on a comparison with the overall sample. The analysis is intended as a starting point for a better understanding of specific developments and trends in Switzerland.

7.1 CEOs and Supervisory Board Presidents

CEOs and supervisory board presidents warrant special attention. Their statistics were examined separately from the overall survey data because they reveal how the path to the top of a company might look.

Overview of CEOs and Supervisory Board Presidents

CEOs

Overview of CEOsOverall SampleNew
Number of companies119
Total CEOs119100%16100%
Number of women98%425%
Number of men11092%1275%
Number of Swiss members7563%850%
Number of foreigners4437%850%
Number of new members1613%
Number of SMI CEOs21100%4100%
Number of women----
Number of men21100%4100%
Number of Swiss members943%250%
Number of foreigners1257%250%
Number of new members414%

Among the 119 CEOs, men clearly dominate. In the current survey year, a total of 16 CEOs were newly appointed to their position, which corresponds to a share of 13%. Among the 119 CEOs, men clearly dominate, but this year there has been a strong increase of 4 female CEOs to currently 9. They are Désirée Baer (SBB Cargo), Philomena Colatrella (CSS Versicherung), Pia Fach (SV Schweiz AG), Sabine Keller-Busse (UBS Switzerland AG), Magdalena Martullo-Blocher (EMS-Chemie Holding AG), Michèle Rodoni (Die Mobiliar), Sabrina Soussan (dormakaba Holding AG), Aglaë Strachwitz (McDonald’s Schweiz) und Suzanne Thoma (BKW Energie AG), whereby Sabrina Soussan has already left dormakaba Holding AG again.

The number of CEOs who are foreigners equals 37%, which is considerably lower than in the overall sample (44%). The foreign CEOs reached their peak in 2011 at 44%, and has since declined. The SMI CEOs are clearly more international: 57% of them hold a foreign passport (2021: 48%).

Supervisory Board Presidents

Overview of SB PresidentsOverall SampleNew
Number of companies92
Total SB presidents92100%12100%
Number of women67%18%
Number of men8693%1192%
Number of Swiss members7278%1192%
Number of foreigners2022%18%
Number of new members1213%
Number of SMI SB Presidents20100%1100%
Number of women15%--
Number of men1995%1100%
Number of Swiss members1155%1100%
Number of foreigners945%--
Number of new members210%

There are 6 female supervisory board presidents. They are Wendy Becker (Logitech International SA), Daniela Bosshardt-Hengartner (Galenica AG), Nayla Hayek (The Swatch Group Ltd.), Ursula Nold (Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund), Monika Ribar (SBB Schweizerische Bundesbahnen) und Doris Russi Schurter (Helvetia Gruppe). The share of women among the supervisory board presidents remains at 7%.

At 22%, there are also relatively few foreign supervisory board presidents. Among the new supervisory board presidents, 8% are foreigners (2021: 9%). 13% (12) of supervisory board presidents were new to their companies.

Nationality of CEOs and Supervisory Board Presidents

Nationality of Foreign CEOs

Among the 119 CEOs, 75 (63%) hold a Swiss passport. The 19 Germans (16%) represent the largest group of foreign CEOs, as they do on the executive boards. The 6 American CEOs are the second largest group (5%). The 4 French CEOs (3%) come in third. The Dutch and South African CEOs place fourth with each 3. Then come Belgium and Austria, each with 2 representatives (2% each). Among the 16 newly appointed CEOs, 8 (50%) are Swiss, while this figure was 75% in the previous year. In addition, 4 of the new CEOs are appointed this year from Germany, 2 from South Africa, 1 from France and 1 from the Netherlands.

Nationality of Foreign SB Presidents

The percentage of Swiss supervisory board presidents is higher than that of Swiss CEOs. While 75 (63%) of the 119 CEOs are Swiss, 72 (78%) of the 92 supervisory presidents hold a Swiss passport. The 7 Germans represent the largest group, representing 35% of all foreign supervisory board presidents. They are followed by Belgians and U.S. Americans with each 2 (10%) supervisory board presidents. The foreign supervisory board presidents represent 11 different countries, i.e. most countries are represented just once. A similar pattern can be observed in past years.

Experience of CEOs and Supervisory Board Presidents

CEOs

Experience of the CEOsOverall SampleNew
Size of the sample119100%11100%
CEO recruited internally7966%436%
CEO recruited from outside4034%764%

Of the CEOs, 66% (2021: 67%) worked at the company before being appointed. At 36% (2021: 44%), this figure is clearly lower for the new CEOs.

Average experience of the CEOsAs CEOOn the Current EBAt the company
Overall sample5 years
Internally recruited CEOs5 years13 years23 years
Externally recruited CEOs4 years

On average, the CEOs have held the position for 5 years. Internally recruited CEOs have been at the company an average of 23 years, were appointed to the executive board after an average of 13 years, and as CEO after 5 years.

SB Presidents

Experience of the SB PresidentsOverall SampleNew
Size of the sample92100%12100%
Internally recruited SB president6874%975%
Externally recruited SB president2426%325%
Member of the same SB beforehand5064%868%
Previously CEO of the company2026%18%
Previously on the Eb of the company810%18%

Prior to their appointment, 74% (2021: 75%) of supervisory board presidents worked in operations for the same company or sat on its supervisory board. Just 26% (2021: 25%) of the presidents were appointed from outside the company. A total of 64% (2021: 62%) were on the supervisory board, 26% of them were CEOs (2021: 26%) and/or 10% (2021: 12%) were members of the executive board, prior to their appointment as supervisory board president. Among the newly appointed presidents, 68% (2021: 58%) were already on the supervisory board, and 8% (2021: 8%) were CEO beforehand.

Average Experience of the SB PresidentsAs SB PresidentOn the Current SBAt the Company
Overall Sample7 years
Previously member of this SB8 years12 years21 years
Externally recruited SB president5 years

On average, SB presidents have been in the post for 7 years, while the average is 8 years for internally recruited presidents. Those presidents who were already supervisory board members have held seats on the current board an average of 12 years, and those who worked in operations beforehand have been at the company an average of 21 years. The externally recruited supervisory board presidents have held the office 5 years on average.

Age of CEOs and Presidents of SB

CEOs

Average Age of the CEOsOverall SampleNew
Size of the sample11716
Overall sample55 years54 years
Men55 years54 years
Women54 years54 years
Swiss members55 years53 years
Foreigners56 years55 years
SMI56 years56 years

The average age of CEOs is 55 years and has not changed compared to the previous year; it has, however, increased by 3 years since 2012. CEOs are on average 2 years older than executive board members. The average age of new CEOs is 1 year higher (54 years) than last year. Female CEOs are on average 54 years old and therefore 1 year younger than their male colleagues (55 years).

SB Presidents

Average Age of the SB PresidentsOverall SampleNew
Size of the sample8711
Overall Sample63 years60 years
Men63 years60 years
Women59 years54 years
Swiss members63 years60 years
Foreigners63 years54 years
SMI65 years65 years

Supervisory board presidents are on average 63 years old and therefore 4 years older than other members of the supervisory board (59 years). The average age of presidents increases from the previous year (62 years) and is thus higher as when surveying began in 2010. Newly appointed SB presidents are 60 years old. Moreover, they are 3 years older than new members of the supervisory board (55 years). Female SB presidents are 60 years old and therefore 6 years older than female board members (54 years).

Length of Employment of resigned CEOs and Presidents of SB

CEOs

Average Length of Employment of the Resigned CEOsCEOCEO recruited from outsideCEO recruited internallyIn EB until appointment as CEO
Size of the sample18711
Overall Sample8 years8 years10 years5 years
Men8 years9 years10 years5 years
Women----
Swiss members5 years6 years10 years3 years
Foreigners7 years9 years-6 years

Last year, 18 CEOs resigned from office. They had served as CEOs for an average of 8 years – 2 years less than in the year before. There were no resignations by a woman in this year. In the previous year, the male CEOs had held their positions for 6 years. Also in the previous year, Swiss CEOs had been in office for 5 years, foreigners 7 years. In contrast to the two preceding years, we see that Swiss CEOs remain in their posts for one year less than foreign ones. CEOs who were recruited from within the company stayed 10 years in office, which is longer than CEOs who were recruited externally (8 years).

SB Presidents

Average Length of Employment of the Resigned SB PresidentsSB Presidentsin SB
Size of the sample14
Overall sample7 years11 years
Men7 years11 years
Women--
Swiss members8 years11 years
Foreigners5 years11 years

In the past year 14 supervisory board presidents resigned from office. They had served in their function for 7 years on average – 1 year less than in the year before. All the presidents who resigned were men. They had been on the supervisory board for 11 years; in the preceding year they had served 10 years. Last year, the foreign-born presidents stayed in office for 5 years and were on the board for 11 years since they all had been recruited externally. Swiss nationals served as presidents for 8 years and 11 years as board members.

7.2 SMI Companies

The blue-chip SMI is Switzerland’s most important stock-market index and includes the 20 largest SPI (Swiss Performance Index) stocks. The SMI accounts for around 85% of the total capitalisation of the Swiss stock market. SMI companies are the leaders in internationalisation, but also in other areas. The SMI companies are analysed as a separate subgroup to identify important trends in relation to the future evolution of Swiss management boards.

Composition of SMI Executive Boards

Composition of the SMI EBOverall SampleNew
Number of companies20
Total EB members183100%29100%
Number of women3519%1345%
Number of men14881%1655%
Number of Swiss members4826%621%
Number of foreigners13574%2379%
Number of new members2916%
Number of SMI CEOs21100%3100%
Number of Swiss members943%133%
Number of foreigners1257%267%
Number of new members314%

At SMI companies, the share of women on executive boards increased by 10 percentage points over 9 years, from 3% in 2006 to 8% for the first time in 2013. After falling to 6% in 2014 and stagnating for two years, it has been rising again since 2017 and reached 10% in 2019. Last year, SMI companies increased the share of women on executive boards to 14%. Currently, SMI companies fill 45% of vacant executive board positions with women (2021: 28%), thus increasing the share to 19%, which is 2 percentage points above the overall sample (17%).

While the share of foreigners on the executive boards of SMI companies peaked at 68% in 2013, it fell to 65% in 2014, and remained at 63% from 2015 to 2018, rising again to 65% in 2019. In 2020 and 2021, SMI companies recorded a slightly higher figure of 67% and currently reach a peak of 74% – almost three quarters of SMI executive board members do not hold a Swiss passport. Therefore, the composition of executive boards at SMI companies tends to be much more international than the overall sample (44%). An interesting trend has developed regarding CEOs at SMI companies. Six years ago, the percentage of foreigners among SMI chief executives was 71%. Five years ago, it dropped to 55%, three years reached 45%. Currently, SMI companies also record 57% CEOs with foreign passports.

Composition of SMI Supervisory Boards

Composition of the SMI SBOverall SampleNew
Number of companies20
Total SB members215100%20100%
Number of women6430%945%
Number of men15170%1155%
Number of Swiss members8339%840%
Number of foreigners13261%1260%
Number of new members209%
Number of SMI SB Members20100%3100%
Number of Swiss members1155%267%
Number of foreigners945%133%
Number of new members315%

Of the samples examined, SMI supervisory boards have the highest share of women with 30%. This is 3 percentage points higher than the previous year. This is explained by the number of women among new SMI supervisory board members, which is 45%. The percentage of foreigners on the SMI supervisory boards has been constant at 61% since 2 years. The share of newly appointed SMI supervisory board members who are foreigners is now 60%, while last year it was 60% as well. Of the 20 SMI SB presidents, 11 hold a Swiss passport, or 55%.

Nationality of SMI Management Boards

Executive Boards

With 54 members, the Anglo-Saxon countries (U.S., GB, AUS and CAN) make up 40%, or more than a third of the 135 foreigners on SMI executive boards. With 22 members (16%), Germany is in second place after the U.S., which represents 25% (34 members) and before Great Britain with 12% (16 members). France is fourth with 10% (13 members).  This picture is different among the new SMI executive board members: 21% of the new foreign SMI executive board members are from Great Britain or the U.S. (each 6 members). The new foreign members also include 2 from Germany, France and Austria (each 7%). A comparison of the overall sample with that of the SMI shows that German managers play a minor role in SMI companies, while they clearly dominate among foreigners in the overall sample.

Supervisory Boards

The picture is somewhat similar on SMI supervisory boards. At 40%, the 54 Anglo-Saxons (U.S., GB, CAN and AUS) also represent the dominant share of the 133 foreigners, the largest group among them being the 33 U.S. citizens, representing 25%. The 20 German members are the second largest group with 15%, and the 14 British members are the third largest with 6%, closely followed by the 8 French members, who represent 6%: 11 newly appointed foreign SMI supervisory board member, the 5 Anglo-Saxons (3 U.S., and 2 GB) the biggest group (27% and 18%). Another 6 countries are each represented by 1 (9%) new member. While there were significantly more Americans than Germans on the SMI supervisory boards, there are more Germans (76) than Americans (50) on the supervisory boards in the overall sample.

Areas of Responsibilities of SMI Executive Board Members

Executive board members are divided into business and service functions in the survey. The business function includes all sales-related positions at the company and/or all functions in the company’s core business, such as sales, marketing responsibilities, research and development, and production. The service function includes all positions that play a supporting role at the company and have no direct impact on sales, such as human resources and communication.

Areas of Responsibility of SMI EB MembersAreas of Responsibility of New SMI EB Members
Business FunctionService FunctionBusiness FunctionService Function
Overall Sample12669%5731%1759%1241%
Men11377%3423%1169%531%
Women1336%2364%646%754%

While 69% of SMI executive board members have a business function, the figure for new members is 59%. The number of all SMI executive board members is above the overall sample (72%); the number of newly appointed members is below the overall sample (66%). Among female SMI executive board members, 36% have a business function, while 46% of the new female members do.

Experience of SMI Board Members

Executive Boards

Experience of the SMI EB MembersOverall SampleNew
Size of the sample183100%29100%
Worked at the company beforehand11663%1966%
Sat on another EB beforehand3419%414%
Worked at the company and sat on another EB beforehand105%--
No prior experience at the company or on another EB2313%621%

A total of 63% of the SMI executive board members worked at the company prior to joining the board. Among executive board members, 19% had sat on another executive board prior to being appointed, while 13% had no relevant experience at the same company or another executive board. Among the new SMI executive board members, 21% (2021: 17%) had no relevant experience at the same company or on another executive board.

Average Experience of SMI EB MembersOn the Current EBAt the CompanyAt the Company before joining the EB
Overall sample5 years
Worked at the company beforehand5 years18 years13 years
Worked at the company and sat on another EB beforehand4 years15 years11 years
Sat on another EB beforehand4 years
No prior experience at the company or on another EB3 years

An analysis of the length of service of executive board members reveals that internally promoted SMI managers have to work longer at the company, an average of 13 years, before being appointed to the board than those in the overall sample, who are appointed after just 12 years. SMI executive board members have 18 years of experience at the company on average, compared to 17 years in the overall sample. SMI executive management board members with external executive management experience – even if only at an SME – join the management board after 4 years on average, same lenght as in the overall sample.

Supervisory Boards

Average Experience of SMI SB MembersOn the Current SBAt the CompanyAt the Company before joining the SB
Overall sample5 years
Worked at the company beforehand5 years21 years13 years

Internally recruited SMI supervisory board members have worked an average of 21 years at the company and were appointed to the supervisory board after 13 years. The average SMI supervisory board member has held the post for 5 years, which is the same as in the overall sample.

Experience of the SMI SB MembersOverall SampleNew
Worked at the company beforehand2512%210%
CEO at the company beforehand832%150%
EB member beforehand728%--
EB member and CEO beforehand14%--
Neither EB member nor CEO beforehand936%150%

A total of 215 SMI supervisory board members were surveyed this year. 12% of these members had already been working for the company before joining the board. Of these, 32% were previously CEO, 32% were on the executive board, and 4% had been both executive board members and CEOs. Of all of the 215 supervisory board members, 12% sat on the executive board of another company included in the schillingreport before their current appointment. In addition, 10 members simultaneously sit on 2 SMI supervisory boards and hold a total of 20 seats, 11 SMI executive board members each hold 1 supervisory board seat at another SMI company.

Age of SMI Board Members

Executive Boards

Average Age of SMI-EB MembersOverall SampleNew
Size of the sample16629
Overall sample54 years51 years
Men54 years52 years
Women52 years50 years
Swiss members54 years54 years
Foreigners54 years51 years
CEOs56 years54 years

The executive board members of SMI companies are on average 54, while new board members are 51 years old. The SMI board members are the same age on average as in the previous year, but 4 years older (50 years) than in 2006 when surveying began. The new SMI executive board members are the same age as in the previous year (51 years). In 2006 their average age was 47. Female SMI executive board members are now 52 years old and thus 2 years younger than their male colleagues (54 years). The new female SMI executive board members are also 50 years old. The new male SMI executive board members are 2 years older (52 years). Swiss SMI executive board members are 54 years old. Their foreign counterparts are same age (54 years). The CEOs of SMI companies are 56 years old, while the new CEOs are 54 years old.

Supervisory Boards

Average Age of the SMI-SB MembersOverall SampleNew
Size of the sample20117
Overall sample61 years59 years
Men62 years61 years
Women58 years57 years
Swiss members60 years59 years
Foreigners61 years59 years
SB Presidents65 years57 years

The supervisory board members of SMI companies are on average 61 years old, while the new supervisory board members are 59 years old. The SMI supervisory board members are the same age as in the previous year and when surveying began in 2010. The new SMI supervisory board members were 2 years younger the year before (57 years). The female SMI supervisory board members are 58 years old, thus 4 years younger than their male colleagues (62 years). The new female SMI supervisory board members are 57 years old; their male colleagues are 4 years old (61 years). Swiss SMI supervisory board members are 60 years old. Their foreign counterparts are 1 year older (61 years). The supervisory board presidents of SMI companies are 65 years old, while the new presidents are 57.

Interviews

Désirée Baer

«A modern understanding of leadership is important: Sense in the goals, responsibility in the implementation and dialogue at eye level»

Désirée Baer
(schillingreport 2022)

Juan Beer

«We involve employees in a targeted way in shaping our working world of the future»

Juan Beer
(schillingreport 2022)

Christoph Brand

«Too much career planning obscures the view of unexpected opportunities»

Christoph Brand
(schillingreport 2022)

Elisabeth Heer Dietrich

«In 2020, 50% of new cadre entrants in the canton of Basel-Landschaft were women»

Elisabeth Heer Dietrich
(schillingreport 2022)

Urs Ryffel

«The doors to a successful career in industry are wide open for women»

Urs Ryffel
(schillingreport 2022)

Aglaë Strachwitz

«Young people take on a lot of responsibility with us at a very early stage»

Aglaë Strachwitz
(schillingreport 2022)

Andre Wyss

«Implemented in an integrated way, digitalisation becomes a driver of value creation»

Andre Wyss
(schillingreport 2022)

Overview of the Companies Included in the Report

CompaniesPrivate SectorGender-Diversity-Pipeline (sr2021)CompaniesPrivate SectorGender-Diversity-Pipeline (sr2021)
Aargauische KantonalbankLeonteq AG
ABB Ltd.Liebherr-International AG
ABB Schweiz AGLiechtensteinische Landesbank
Addex Therapeutics LifeWatch AG
Adecco Management & Consulting SALogitech International SA
Adval Tech Holding AGLonza Group AG
AEVIS VICTORIA SALuzerner Kantonalbank AG
Airesis SAMagazine zum Globus AG
Alcon SwitzerlandManor AG
Allianz Suisse Gruppe McDonald's Suisse Holding SA
Allreal Holding AGMCH Group AG
Alpiq Holding AGMedartis AG
ALSO Holding AG
Meier Tobler AG
Alufleckpack AGMetall Zug Gruppe
AMAG Automobil- und Motoren AGMettler-Toledo Holding AG
APG SGA SAMeyer Burger Technology AG
Appenzeller KantonalbankMicarna SA
Arbonia AG Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund
ARYZTA AGMikron Holding AG
Ascom (Holding) AGMobilezone AG
Autoneum Holding AG
Mobimo Holding AG
AXA WinterthurMolecular Partners AG
Axpo Holding AGMövenpick Holding AG
Bachem Holding AGMyriad Group AG
Bâloise-HoldingNestlé S.A.
Banca dello Stato del Cantone TicinoNidwaldner Kantonalbank
Bank Cler Novartis AG
Bank Linth LLB AGObwaldner Kantonalbank
Banque Cantonale de FribourgOC Oerlikon Corporation AG
Banque Cantonale de GenèveOctapharma AG
Banque Cantonale du Jura AGOrascom Development Holding AG
Banque Cantonale NeuchâteloiseOrell Füssli Holding AG
Banque Cantonale Vaudoise AGOrior AG
Banque Profil de Gestion SAPanalpina Welttransport (Holding) AG
Barry Callebaut AGPartners Group Holding AG
Basellandschaftliche KantonalbankPeach Property Group AG
Basilea Pharmaceutica AGPhoenix Mecano AG
Basler KantonalbankPlanzer Transport AG
Belimo Holding AGPlazza Immobilien
Bell Food Group AGPoenina Holding AG
Bellevue Group AGPolyphor AG
Bergbahnen Engelberg-Trübsee-Titlis AGPostFinance AG
Berner KantonalbankPricewaterhouseCoopers
BKW Energie AGPrivatklinikgruppe Hirslanden
BLS-GruppePSP Swiss Property AG
Bobst GroupRaiffeisen Schweiz
Bossard AGRehau GmbH
Bucher Industries AGRieter Holding AG
Bühler AGRingier Holding AG
Burckhardt Compression Holding AGRomande Energie Holding SA
Burkhalter Holding AGRonal AG
BVZ Holding AGRuag International AG
Calida Holding AGSanthera Pharmaceuticals Holding AG
Carlo Gavazzi Holding AGSBB Cargo AG
Cembra Money Bank AGSchaffhauser Kantonalbank
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AGSchaffner Holding AG
Cicor Technologies GroupSchindler Holding AG
Clariant AGSchindler (Schweiz) AG
Coltène Holding AGSchlatter Holding AG
Comet Holding AGSchweiter Technologies AG
Compagnie Financière Richemont SASchweizerische Bundesbahnen SBB
Compagnie financière TraditionSchweizerische Mobiliar Versicherungsgesellschaft AG
Coop GenossenschaftSchweizerische Nationalbank
CPH Chemie + Papier Holding AG Schwyzer Kantonalbank
Crealogix Holding AGSecuritas AG Schweizerische Bewachungsgesellschaft
Credit Suisse Group AGSelecta Management AG
Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AGSensirion AG
CSS GruppeSFS Holding AG
Dätwyler Holding AGSGS SA
Denner AGSiegfried Holding AG
Die Schweizerische PostSiemens Schweiz AG
DKSH Holding AGSiemens Schweiz AG, Smart Infrastructure
dormakaba International Holding AG SIG Holding Ltd.
Dosenbach-Ochsner AGSika AG
Dufry AGSIX Group AG
Edisun Power Europe AGSoftwareOne
EFG International AGSonova Holding AG
Elma Electronic AGSR Technics Group
Emil Frey GruppeSRG SSR
Emmi AGSt. Galler Kantonalbank
EMS-CHEMIE HOLDING AGStadler Rail AG
Endress + Hauser AGStarrag Group Holding AG
Ernst & Young AGStraumann Holding AG
ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère SuisseSulzer AG
Evolva Holding AGSunrise Communications AG
F. Hoffmann-La Roche AGSuva
Feintool International Holding AGSV Group AG
fenacoSV (Schweiz) AG
Firmenich SASwiss Finance & Property Investment AG
Flughafen Zürich AGSwiss International Air Lines AG
Forbo International SASwiss Life Holding
Franke Holding AGSwiss Life Schweiz
Frutiger AGSwiss Prime Site
Galenica AGSwiss Re
GAM Holding AGSwiss Steel Group
gategroupSwisscom AG
Geberit AGSwissport International Ltd.
Generali (Schweiz) Holding AGSwissquote Group Holding AG
Georg Fischer AGSyngenta AG
Givaudan SATecan Group AG
Glarner KantonalbankTemenos Group AG
Glas Trösch Holding AG Tetra Laval Group
Glencore plcThe Swatch Group Ltd.
Goldbach Group AGThurgauer Kantonalbank
Graubündner Kantonalbank Tornos SA
Groupe Minoteries SATriumph International Spiesshofer & Braun
Gurit Holding AGTX Group
Helsana Versicherungen AGu-blox Holding AG
Helvetia GruppeUBS AG
HIAG Immobilien Holding AGUBS Switzerland AG
Highlight Event & Entertainment AGUrner Kantonalbank
HOCHDORF Holding AGV-Zug
Huber + SuhnerValartis Group AG
Hügli Holding AGValiant Holding AG
Hypothekarbank Lenzburg AGValora Holding AG
IBM Schweiz AGVAT Group AG
Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd.Vaudoise Assurances Holding SA
Implenia AGVetropack Holding AG
Inficon Holding AGVifor Pharma Management AG
Interroll Holding AGVillars Holding S.A.
Intershop Holding AGVon Roll Holding AG
Investis Holding AGVontobel Holding AG
ISS Holding AGVP Bank AG
IVF HARTMANN AGVZ Holding AG
Jet Aviation Management AGWalliser Kantonalbank
JOWA AGWarteck Invest AG
Julius Bär Holding AGWISeKey International Holding Ltd
Jungfraubahn Holding AG Ypsomed Holding AG
Kardex AGZehnder Group AG
Klingelnberg AGZüblin Immobilien Holding AG
Komax Holding AGZug Estates Holding AG
Kudelski SAZuger Kantonalbank
Kühne + Nagel International AGZürcher Kantonalbank
Kuros Biosciences AGZurich Insurance Group
LafargeHolcim Ltd. Zürich Versicherungs-Gesellschaft AG
Landis+Gyr AGZur Rose
Leclanché SAZwahlen & Mayr SA
LEM Holding SA

Abbreviations

AGAktiengesellschaft (joint stock company)Ltd.Limited
CEOChief Executive OfficerNCCNomination and Compensation Committee
CFOChief Financial OfficerplcPublic Limited Company
EBExecutive BoardSBSupervisory Board
EUEuropean UnionSMESmall and medium-sized enterprises
HRHuman ResourcesSMISwiss Market Index
i.e.id estSPISwiss Performance Index

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