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Sweden’s AP2 sees increase in number of women on corporate boards

First rise in three years means 25% of directors are female

Swedish state pension fund, the SEK264.7bn (€29.2bn) Andra AP-fonden (AP2) says the number of women on listed company boards in the country has risen for the first time in three years.
The findings, in AP2’s latest Female Representation Index for 2014, show that the number has risen to 24.7% from 22.3%. And the number of women in executive management positions has also risen, to 18.4%.
“The trend is in the right direction. But there is still much to do in accelerating the rate of this increase and better utilizing all available competence. Stakeholders and nomination committees share a particular responsibility here. We are determined to shoulder ours and hope that many others will elect to follow the same path,” said AP2’s Chief Executive Eva Halvarsson.
AP2 says it will look to raise the issue of female board recruitment at annual meetings if it sees directors aren’t being hired via a “fact-based recruitment process” that goes beyond boards’ normal networks of contacts.
The survey, conducted with Nordic Investor Services, found that large-cap companies have achieved the greatest increase in female representation at board level – it now stands at 29.1%.And women account for almost one in five members of executive management at large firms. AP2 has been running the survey since 2003 and this year’s edition looked at 252 firms on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

“The trend is in the right direction. But there is still much to do”

Elsewhere, Sallie Krawcheck, the former president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division of Bank of America and ex-CEO of Citigroup’s wealth management business and one of the most prominent women on Wall Street, has teamed up with sustainable funds firm Pax World.
Krawcheck’s Ellevate Asset Management and Pax World will work together to manage and distribute the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund – a successor fund to the Pax World Global Women’s Equality Fund. The fund is the sole US mutual fund focused on investing in global companies that advance women; it will track the Pax Global Women’s Leadership Index.