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 analysis and projections, the study reports on a series of interviews the GAO staff conducted with stakeholders (investors, board members, and CEOs) on factors contributing to the low number of women on boards and the strategies that could be used to increase the number of seats held by women.
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