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18 January 2024

French corporate websites lag behind their European peers, but keep up with careers information

The latest Webranking results for French companies present a mixed scenario. While the companies continue to lag behind their European counterparts in overall performance, they perform relatively well in presenting career-related information. Governance information remains a challenge.

Freja NilssonProject manager, Webranking

A point of concern is the overall underperformance of French companies in comparison to the European average. The data indicates that the 70 largest listed French companies included in the ranking have received an average score of 40.74, which noticeably falls short of the Europe 500's average score of 47. This discrepancy highlights a significant area for improvement for French companies in aligning their digital communications strategies with broader European standards.

When summarising the French results, we notice the following:

  • Careers: French companies align with European peers in career information presentation. They excel in showcasing career progression opportunities (53% vs. 42% European average).
  • Diversity data: French companies lead in presenting diversity data (23% vs. 18% European average).
  • Governance: Governance information is a significant challenge, with French companies lagging behind (39% vs. 48% European average). There is inadequate information presented about board members and remuneration policies.

Career information on the same level as European peers

Despite the general underperformance, French companies show some strength in the presentation of career information on their websites. On average, these companies fulfil 50% of the criteria related to career information, aligning them with their European peers. This suggests that French companies recognise the growing importance of career information in corporate communication strategies.

A particularly strong aspect of French companies' digital presence is their presentation of career progression and promotion opportunities on their websites. In this area, they outperform the European average: 53% of French companies present this information effectively, compared to a lower European average of 42%. This indicates an understanding of the significance of career development information for potential employees, showcasing these companies' commitment to attracting and retaining top talent.

Air Liquide present a dedicated page where they clearly explain their approach to internal mobility, complemented by employee testimonials.

Transparent diversity data is often presented

Another area where French companies excel is in the presentation of diversity data, including details such as age, gender, and nationality. In this aspect, they surpass the European average. 23% of French companies effectively present diversity data on their websites, compared with the European average of 18%.

By presenting diversity data, these companies signal to prospective employees their commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is essential in today's job market, where candidates are often seeking workplaces that not only acknowledge but also embrace and celebrate diversity in its various forms. Such transparency in presenting diversity data plays an important role in attracting a diverse talent pool.

Gecina present a section called "Gender equality in reality", where they present their gender equality index and data supporting their claims.

Governance information a challenge

While French companies show strengths in certain areas of digital corporate communication, presenting comprehensive governance information remains a significant challenge. The data reveals that, on average, French companies fulfil only 39% of the criteria related to governance information. This figure is notably lower than the European average of 48%, indicating a substantial gap in this essential aspect of corporate transparency.

A critical area where French companies fall short is in the presentation of their board members. Essential details such as names, titles, pictures, and year of birth or age are inadequately showcased. Only 73% of French companies manage to present at least three of these key details, which is substantially lower than the 88% average among European companies. This lack of comprehensive information about board members can be a significant drawback for stakeholders seeking to understand the leadership and strategic direction of the company.

Bouygues present detailed information about their board of directors. The individual members are presented with detailed CVs, shareholdings and links to their LinkedIn profiles.

Another issue that emerges from the Webranking data is the limited presentation of remuneration policies for management on the websites of French companies. We found that only 14% of these companies adequately present this information in an accessible format directly on their websites, rather than relegating it to downloadable PDF documents. This figure is notably lower than the European average, where 21% of companies meet this criterion.

The lack of clear, readily available information about management remuneration policies can lead to a perceived lack of transparency in corporate governance practices. For stakeholders, particularly investors and potential employees, understanding how a company compensates the management is a key factor in evaluating its governance standards and ethical practices. The remuneration policy can offer insights into a company's values, priorities, and how it aligns management goals with shareholder and broader stakeholder interests.

VINCI present very detailed remuneration information, clearly explaining the different parts of the remuneration system.

Top performers

VINCI keep first place for the eighth year in a row. VINCI perform well in About us, Press and Reporting.

Arkema keep second place for the second year in a row and continue to perform well in Careers and Sustainability.

ArcelorMittal have climbed from 9th place, now taking a place in the French top three. They have improved their score from 48.9 to 57 points. ArcelorMittal perform especially well in About us.

Carrefour the best climber

The French company that have improved their score the most since last year are Carrefour, they have improved their score by twelve points. Still, they have plenty of improvement to do, as the total score only is 36.6 points.

Top 10 - France

1VINCIConstruction and Materials76
3ArcelorMittalBasic Resources57
4MichelinAutomobiles and Parts55.4
5BNP ParibasBanks53.9
6AirbusIndustrial Goods and Services53.7
8Sartorius Stedim BiotechHealth Care50.9
9EdenredIndustrial Goods and Services49.5


  • Freja Nilsson, Project manager Webranking