The heads of the largest Swiss companies are younger, more masculine and more international than the rest of the world. It is the result of a study by Heidrick & Struggles. To this end, the management consulting firm evaluated the biographies of 50 senior executives at SMI Expanded and compared them with nearly 1,000 career profiles from 20 countries around the world.
According to the study, Swiss seniors are on average 55 years old, one year younger than in the rest of the world. The age of Swiss CEOs varies between 39 and 70 years.
According to the 2020 “Upward Route” study, there is a large deviation in the average time that the CEO spends in his position. If a director has run a company abroad for a good 6 years (6.2), this period is shorter than one year (4.9) in Switzerland.
Every second person from abroad
The international character of Swiss executives is particularly notable. Almost one percent of Swiss (46 percent) were born abroad. Only one in five in the world (21%) comes from abroad. In terms of international experience, Swiss employers (63%) are well ahead of the rest of the world’s colleagues (36%).
“Swiss companies take advantage of this because they have a strong international perspective and therefore need managers who are well versed in the customs of different countries and markets,” said Oliver Schiltz, managing partner of Heidrick & Struggles in Switzerland. In contrast, Swiss CEOs, with 13%, have less experience than other industries compared to the rest of the world (17%).
Only 2 percent of women
The proportion of women in Swiss execution suites remains low at 2 percent. Worldwide, women are at the top in 5% of the companies surveyed. “Unfortunately, there is still no progress in appointing women CEOs in Switzerland.”
In addition, Schiltz says there are still many Swiss companies on the board that do not have the same woman. However, he expects the new company law, which is expected to come into force in 2022 and provides for a 20 per cent share of women on the boards of directors, to have a wide and noticeable impact.
The Crown Crisis hits the hands of men
Meanwhile, the pandemic of the crown could also affect the recruitment policy of Swiss companies. Heidrick & Struggles expects more Swiss to be at the top of the company in the future. The reason for this is lower entry restrictions for foreigners and a lower willingness to move.
In addition, more male directors with management and industry experience would be re-hired in the Crown Crisis. Women and their peers, on the other hand, are at a disadvantage as a result of the crisis when it comes to advancing their careers. (pbe / SDA)