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SocGen Deputy CEO: Male-dominated corporate teams sign of poor governance

Male-dominated corporate teams are a sign of poor governance or even financial risk, according to the Société Générale SA's Deputy CEO Diony Lebot, the first woman to take such a position at the French bank.

"Today, a totally male team is a reflection of poor governance or even a risk for the company's performance," she told La Tribune in an interview.

"All stakeholders are paying attention to this, be it, investors, customers, employees. Diversity has become one of the criteria for evaluating a company's performance and attractiveness," she said.

Lebot was named deputy CEO in charge of risk, finance and compliance in May 2018.

Lebot told the newspaper that when she arrived at SocGen, as the bank is known, in 1986, the lender hired 50% of male graduates and 50% female to ensure gender parity in management, but she said that more than 30 years on, the bank had still to achieve parity.

However, she said there was now pressure from all sides to make a change, noting that "for the first time, I am optimistic and very confident" about the increasing number of women in finance and that there would be a "real mix" of both women and men.

In the past, Lebot said she had not been in favor of quotas, but since France had voted in a law in 2018, obliging companies to have 40% of women on their boards, she had changed her mind. Without the law, there would have not been as many women on boards, she said.