Advancing Women to the Boardroom

Industry News

SAIS Global Conference on Women in the Boardroom

The 7th annual SAIS conference on board diversity was framed around two questions: do we need a national campaign to drive boardroom diversity in the US? And if so, should that campaign include a national target?

As has been the case in the past, participants from countries that have used targets (or quotas) to increase board diversity expressed strong support for the idea of a national goal, suggesting that it was necessary in order to get the issue of boardroom diversity “on the table” in the US. Those who were opposed to a national target argued that the Full Article

Conscious Inclusion – Getting More Women into Leadership Roles

ManpowerGroup recently released 7 Steps to Conscious Inclusion: a Practical Guide to Accelerating More Women into Leadership. Based on interviews with 222 leaders in 25 countries, the guide highlights differences in the responses of men and women and between generations (Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers) to questions related to the barriers to gender equality and what it will take to close the gap. Among the steps the guide recommends: leadership has to own it, succession planning that challenges assumptions, hiring people who value people, and being explicit about expectations.

The Elephant in the Valley

Fast Company recently reported on a study of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the tech industry. More than 200 women, all with at least 10 years of work experience, participated in the study. Some of the findings included:

  • 60% reported being the target of unwanted sexual advances from a superior.
  • 33% indicated that there have been times at when they had feared for their safety in a work-related situation.
  • 66% reported that they had been excluded from networking opportunities and social events because of their gender.
  • 75% indicated that they had been asked about marriage and family plans in interviews.

GAO Study: What You May Have Missed

The recent GAO report on Corporate Boards – Strategies to Address Representation of Women Include Federal Disclosure Requirements – received a fair amount of media attention for its calculation that it would take more than four decades for women’s participation on boards to match that of men’s.

What got lost in most of the coverage was that the projection was based on women receiving appointments to boards in equal numbers to men starting in 2015. That’s more than double the current average – right now women receive approximately 23% of new board appointments each year.

In addition to the data Full Article

Women Execs Deliver

A recent Peterson Institute for International Economics study found that more women in top corporate positions companies correlates with improved financial performance (net profit margin). The research included more than 21,000 companies in 91 countries and examined the levels of gender diversity among CEOs, corporate directors and C-suite officers. The study also looked at national policies that encourage women’s participation in the workforce, including family leave and access to education. According to the researchers, “what matters most for gender diversity is creating a pipeline of women into corporate management, from elementary education through child-bearing years.”

While improved performance was the Full Article