Advancing Women to the Boardroom

ION Reveals Low Number of Women Board of Directors

ION Report Reveals Low Number of Women Board Directors, Executives in Top US Public Companies: Search Firms, Investors, Governance Chairs Urged to Cast Wider Net in Search for Qualified Candidates

Annual  Status Report of  Russell  3000  Companies  Shows Only 13 Percent of  Board Members,  Executive Officers Are Women NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — ION has released its 10th Annual Census of women board directors and executive officers of public companies ( The report includes 2014 data from 2,827 US corporations in the Russell 3000 (R3000). Key highlights of the census include: Board  Directors: 

  • In the 2,827 R3000 companies analyzed, 13 percent of the board members are women
  • In the 449 Fortune 500[1] (F500) companies analyzed, 18.5 percent of the board members are women
  • Five of the companies analyzed have gender parity on their boards (50:50) and four are greater than 50 percent female

Executive  Officers: 

  • In the 2,827 R3000 companies analyzed, 13 percent of the executive officers are women
  • In the same dataset, 3.7 percent of CEOs are women
  • In the 449 F500 companies analyzed, 15.5 percent of the executive officers are women

“Effective corporate governance – along with the kind of strategic thinking and tough decisions required to address the challenges of a global economy and the realities facing today’s corporate leaders – require diversity of background, experience, skills, perspective and gender. Having women on corporate boards is an issue of economic competitiveness. Gender diversity is not a nice thing to do – it’s a business imperative,” said ION President JoAnn Cavallaro. “Our ION Member Organizations employ numerous strategies to effectively collaborate with visionary CEOs, champions of change and board committee chairs. We do this to advocate for more women on boards, help identify their strategic needs and provide experienced board-ready women as companies make progress in diversifying their boards,” she added. ION Interim Director Julie Graber agrees. “Exceptionally well-qualified women can be found. Companies simply need to expand a board search beyond the usual networks and search firms.” “In addition to providing diverse board search opportunities, ION is committed to helping companies learn more about the correlation between organizational performance and the presence of women in leadership, as evidenced by my recent blog post on using correlations to advance corporate diversity,” she said. ( For the census, ION continued its strategic alliance with MSCI ESG Research to provide the key statistical data for all R3000 companies in headquartered in the US, among other research support. Detailed state-by-state data is available from ION members at Download the news release PDF.

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