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Companies with More Women in Management Perform Better, Study Reveals

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A recent study conducted by Bain & Company and EcoVadis examined the correlation between ESG practices and financial profitability in the private sector. The study, which analyzed 100,000 companies, of which 80% were private, found that private companies that implemented ESG practices related to sustainability, diversity, and employee satisfaction saw enhanced financial profitability and growth. The study highlights the need for private equity firms to consider ESG factors when making investment decisions.

The EcoVadis Scorecard was used to identify various ESG activities such as carbon reduction, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), sustainable sourcing, and embedding sustainability into management processes. The study analyzed the correlation between these activities and financial performance, including revenue growth and EBITDA margins.

Four Correlations between ESG Activities and Business Performance

  1. Gender Diversity in Management:

Companies with more women in management positions perform better than those without. Companies in the top 25% of their industries for gender diversity in leadership teams have about 2 percentage points higher annual revenue growth and 3 percentage points higher EBITDA margins than those in the bottom quartile.

  1. Use of Renewable Energy:

In carbon-intensive industries such as natural resources, transportation, and manufactured goods, companies that use more renewable energy have higher EBITDA margins.

  1. Ethics, Environment, and Labor Practices in Supply Chains:

Companies that prioritize ethics, the environment, and labor practices in their supply chains have 3-4% higher margins than those that do not focus on ESG qualifications of suppliers.

  1. Employee Satisfaction:

Companies with high employee satisfaction are ESG leaders and grow faster and are more profitable. The three-year revenue growth for companies with the highest employee satisfaction is 5 percentage points higher than those with poor employee satisfaction, and their profit margins are 6 percentage points higher than laggards.

Opportunities for Private Companies

The study revealed that private companies currently lag behind public companies in terms of ESG practices, with only 35% of large private companies achieving the highest scores in carbon management compared to 53% of large public companies. Therefore, there is an opportunity for private companies to improve their ESG practices and reap the financial benefits. Early-stage companies can develop a sustainability management system with policies, action plans, and reporting to initiate and cascade these practices down the value chain. The study shows that the hard work of implementing ESG practices is worth the effort in the long run.

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