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EWOB's Gender Diversity Index monitors progress of women’s participation in decision making towards the goal of 40%. This is done by reviewing and ranking over 600 listed corporations on national and European level, which makes this research unique in its kind.


There are still too few women in leadership positions. The results of the latest GDI show that progress is too slow and that in 2021 we are far away from a balanced corporate leadership in Europe.

0 %
of women on boards

The European Commission set the objective of 40% of women on boards ten years ago. Today, Norway and France are the only two countries (out of 19 covered) where the average share of women on boards reached this target. While this year’s Gender Diversity Index continues the positive trend already seen in 2020, it is clear that the overall progress is too slow.

0 %
of female CEOs

Out of 668 companies, only 50 companies (7%) are led by a female CEO which is an insignificant improvement compared to 42 female CEOs in 2020. These 50 female led companies have twice as many women at executive level (38%) as in all the other companies researched.

gender diversity index

A balanced leadership with 50% women at the top equals a GDI of 1. With the current GDI measuring 0.59, we are only halfway there. This is just an incremental change from a GDI of 0.53 since the beginning of the research in 2019. Should this slow trend continue, it will take decades before European companies have gender-balanced leadership teams.



Meet EWOB GDI Best Practice Leaders to learn more about the top ranking companies and their journey towards gender diversity

Jolanda Sappelli

Director of Human Resources at a.s.r.

We strive to transform as an organisation from meeting legal quotas to incorporating inclusion into our DNA.

Mrs. Michelle Wilkinson

Chief Talent Officer Pandora

Ensuring a positive working environment for our employees, regardless their gender, is a top priority and one of our fundamental responsibilities as an employer.

Ms. Jennifer Ward

Group Talent, Culture and Communications Director

Increasing diversity and inclusion requires active leadership and commitment from all levels of the organisation. Male allies are critical to advocate for positive change.

Ms. Helene Hasselskog

Chief HR Officer Sweco AB

With diverse teams and skills, we’ve been able to create broader perspectives and more innovative solutions.

Ms. Margaret Johnston-Clarke

Global CDIO L´Oreal

Pursuing the D&I agenda is a combined effort of the CEO and entire strategic team. It didn’t happen naturally, organically. It is a conscious collective effort of the entire company.

Ms. Cecilie Blydt Heuch

CPO Telenor

Advocating and pursuing diversity is like being on a journey that is continuously evolving, from setting strategy and goals to constant development of initiatives and supporting policies encouraging inclusion.

Mr. Henrik Saxborn

CEO Castellum

If you do not have gender diversity, you are not attractive as a business. You don’t attract the best people, the best clients.