News • 6 min read
This year, Bitpanda is celebrating International Women’s Day with a spotlight on “Equity in equality”, empowering inclusion and diversity in investment and personal finance. We feature CEOs from five flourishing female-led companies that are innovators in their industries, while driving equal opportunities.
What percentage of persons in senior positions are women? Well, according to research from McKinsey, in North America over half of the entry-level workforce in financial services are women. In 2021, women globally accounted for 31% of senior management roles, which is the highest percentage ever recorded. And while these numbers shed a positive light on inequality and gender issues, only 8% of CEOs are women. In this article, we’re bringing into the spotlight female-led and female-founded public companies, whose stocks are available on Bitpanda.
The mission of Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture since 2019, is to create a workplace that is equally represented by women and men by 2025. Heading a company with a board of directors that has a perfectly equal gender split, and where 49% of new hires are women, Sweet believes that it is up to a company to decide whether diversity is a business priority - if it is, then it also needs to be treated like one:
“A culture of equality helps everyone. It is not a zero-sum game. We are very well known for the focus we've had on diversity. We treat it like a business priority. We have goals, we have accountable leaders, we set targets, we have action plans, but we're equally committed to inclusion.“
Julie Sweet, interview with Forbes.
Under the helm of Sweet, Accenture saw a revenue increase of 27% during the first quarter of the fiscal year 2022 and year-over-year shareholder earnings increased by 28%.
Lisa Su joined Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in 2012, a bleak time for the company, which was drowning in debt and seeing very little growth. By the time Dr. Su took over the wheel of AMD as CEO in 2014, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy.
After her appointment, Su promptly and efficiently set up redefining goals for the company and, under her leadership, AMD has seen its stock price soar from less than $2 at the beginning of her tenure to more than $100 today.
AMD’s company values include the belief that innovation is fostered by diversity and inclusion, and Su has been proving to be actively working towards opening up educational possibilities that would empower inclusion:
“Everyone in the semiconductor industry, everyone in the technology industry, would benefit from more diversity in the business.”
The multi-year Dr. Lisa Su Innovating Equity Grant was bestowed upon the Global Semiconductor Alliance’s (GSA) Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) for funding of programmes to encourage female engineering students to pursue a career in the semiconductor industry - a topic close to her heart, as it is both the industry she’s now leading and the main topic of her doctoral dissertation in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Safra A. Catz has been on Oracle’s board of directors since 2001. She was appointed CEO of Oracle Corporation in 2014. A long-time Wall Street expert, who is known to be persistent and persuasive, Catz believes that
“Organisations deprive themselves of talent critical to their success when they aren’t welcoming to people of different backgrounds and conditions, but have to make a concerted effort in order to do so.”
Reputed for her leadership skills, Catz’s tenure at Oracle has seen the closing of 130 acquisitions so far, and in 2020 the company had 132,000 employees, which at that point was the world’s second-largest software company by revenue and market cap.
Major setbacks can harbour the greatest chances. After shutting down her first company, pets.com, and dealing with a divorce under close scrutiny of the public eye, Julia Wainwright, CEO of The RealReal, stepped right back onto the entrepreneurial stage and reinvented luxury consignment retail, taking the company public at the age of 61. Upon celebrating the milestone of women comprising 60 percent of the company’s board, Wainwright commented:
“Diversity in the boardroom brings a broader cross-section of experiences and perspectives, which is essential for innovation and evolution. We have been intentional in our efforts to expand diversity within our board, and we believe this further strengthens our ability to capitalise on the significant opportunity ahead of us.”
Julia Wainwright, The RealReal Press Release
In 2021, market cap of The RealReal reached more than $1 billion and is once again on a growth trajectory after going through the aftermath of the pandemic.
Debra S. Cafaro is the CEO and Chairman of Ventas and has been leading the company since 1999, when Ventas was $1B in debt and barely scraping by. Before taking charge of Ventas, Cafaro was a real estate and corporate lawyer, and the first in her family to graduate from university.
In 2018, Ventas was the first Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) company to participate in the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™. The project is considered to be the most extensive business commitment by CEOs to support action promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In the words of Cafaro:
“Diversity and inclusion are essential in business success. [...] Creating an environment where our employees can be themselves, value each other's contributions, and reach their maximum potential represents an important investment in our sustained performance.”
Cafaro restructured Ventas completely, producing incredible results: under her tenure, Ventas has seen the highest total return ever for the company – a whopping 2,373%. As of today, she is the longest-serving CEO of a company belonging to the Standard and Poor's 500 index.
Instead of just pledging change, consider being a part of it! And not just on International Women’s Day, which is once per year, but every single day. Be a promoter and an active supporter of diversity in the workplace, keep bringing into the spotlight those amazing women in your life, or invest in female-led companies, such as the ones we’ve showcased in this article: Accenture (ACN)*, AMD (AMD)*, Oracle (ORCL)*, The RealReal (REAL)* and Ventas (VTR)*. Together, we can build equity in equality, not only on International Women’s Day.
*Bitpanda Stocks enables investing in fractional stocks. Fractional stocks in Europe are always enabled via a contract which replicates the underlying stock or ETF (financial instruments pursuant to section 1 item 7 lit. d WAG 2018). Investing in stocks and ETFs carries risks. For more details see the prospectus at bitpanda.com.
This article does not constitute financial advice or invitation to conclude a transaction. Investing carries risks. Make sure to conduct your own research before investing.
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