- Take Action
A diverse board is a better board. Diversity is the foundation of America. When corporate boards include diverse perspectives, they are able to make better decisions for the company and its stakeholders. Diversity adds value, and adds to the bottom line.
Many proponents of board diversity tout the different perspective that women bring to many issues. While that may be true, the simple fact is that omitting women from any issue omits half of the thought leadership on the planet.
I have seen first-hand the success that can occur when women are given the opportunity to lead. Studies show that gender equity and diversity greatly improve work practice, benefitting business and society as a whole. Particularly now, in these economic times, women must have a seat at the table in every level of enterprise.
The bottom line business case has been made: different perspectives, enhanced decision making, and mitigating "group think" to reflect the markets, employees, clients and communities in which companies operate, gender diversity is a strategic business imperative.
The labyrinth of challenges facing Boards today necessitates the collaboration, vision and unique perspective women bring. A balanced Board which includes women acknowledges the importance of diversity and the valued voice of half the population.
When a company's board is all white and male, it makes us wonder, "Is this a mistake? Does this company feel embarrassed that it can’t attract a more diverse group?” Given that women make over 80% of consumers purchases, having female representation on boards is no longer optional.
As a public company director and former Marine Corps Officer, my colleagues turn to me to discuss and resolve difficult issues. They do not say "need a woman's perspective," but it is implied and appreciated.
All companies operate in a fast changing, complex and diverse environment. The most successful companies embrace diversity at all levels – especially on the Board - as one of the most effective tools to remain competitive and to deliver value to its customers and shareholders.
As a confidential advisor to global CEOs, it is clear that sustainable innovation requires organizations to embrace difference, diversity, and dissonance. The job of top leadership is to make these tensions productive. Companies whose boards fail to embrace and make productive diversity, difference, and dissonance are at risk.
More women on the board is a sign of a smart company that engages in a wide search for talent, a certain predictor of high performance.
Modern boards must include directors who are empathetic to and representative of the population that supports the company and modern directors have to understand what people are feeling and thinking today. Since women constitute the majority of consumers and an increasingly large part of the labor pool, it just makes sense that they add value in the boardroom.
If you believe that women should be better represented on corporate boards but your mutual fund or IRA or 401K Plan is voting your proxies to rubber stamp all-male director slates, then you are part of the problem and need to become part of the solution. It’s critical that investors weigh in, because ultimately companies will have to embrace gender diversity if their shareholders demand it.
Calvert views diversity as a strategic business and investment imperative. Companies that are embracing board diversity by drawing on a wide range of viewpoints and backgrounds are better positioned for future success.
Women are past ready to fill board seats. In our programs at Bentley that span the career spectrum, we see women with strong business skills and an understanding of the complex contexts in which businesses operate. Companies that utilize the full talent pool from top to bottom are stronger.
Women do make a difference in the boardroom. They bring a collaborative leadership style that benefits boardroom dynamics by increasing the amount of listening, social support, and win-win problem-solving.
The gender balanced board issue has historically been framed as a women's problem or burden, but it's not. It's a problem that affects all stakeholders. It represents an opportunity which, if properly harnessed, will create better leaders, better products and better results for all involved.
As a member of two corporate boards and a former member of two others, I have seen up close the difference that 2 and preferably 3 women on the board can make as to the assumptions about important issues such as management succession. Women in the US make up the majority of consumers, investors and employees and their voices should be heard on boards. Just as importantly, their hard won expertise in their professions makes them valuable and important contributors to the significant responsibilities of the board.
Women are still too few in top level executive positions and on boards of directors. We should not rest until we have at least 50/50 representation in both.
Gender and racial diversity on Corporate Boards is not just the right thing to do it’s the smart thing to do. Research shows that companies with women and people of color on their boards outperform their competition. With women ($7.7 trillion) and people of color ($4.4 trillion) accounting for almost $12 trillion in purchasing power, diversity on corporate boards is simply smart economics.
To survive, businesses will have to be inclusive. The results will be woven into the fiber of their culture. Today's smart businesses will take an extra step to jump start the process. These visionary institutions will be rewarded - others will be left behind.
From an economic, a business and a fairness perspective, diversity matters. To be competitive, we need to use all the talent available to us - both female and male.
Akamai strongly advocates board diversity, because we value the wide range of experience and perspective that it brings to our strategy development and corporate governance.
The presence of women on boards is just good business. With more than half of the population female, it makes sense to be represented in similar fashion on a board of a public company. No matter the business sector, the buying or investing public should be represented appropriately on the board.
For far too long the discussion around the number of women on corporate boards (or, more accurately, the number not boards) has been framed as "Why should organizations make having more female board members a priority?" 2020 WOB has created a seismic shift in the discussion by re-framing the question as "Why not?!".
Ranked by Princeton Review as #2 in the U.S. among business schools for "Providing the Greatest Opportunities for Women" the UAlbany School of Business actively supports increasing the percentage of women on corporate boards. The 2020 initiative will increase equity, efficiency and profit.
We support the goals of 2020 to insure that women are meaningfully represented on all public company boards of directors. It is a fundamental objective of any board nominating process.
It is time to give women a greater voice in corporate America. Smart companies will add women quickly to find the best talent. Women will be joining boards at a rapid pace.
The business case for gender diversity is clearer than ever. Women now control roughly $20 trillion of total consumer spending and influence up to 80% of the buying decisions. With numbers like that, it’s clear that boardroom and workplace diversity is now a must-have for driving strong business results. In fact, research shows that companies that achieve diversity in management and on their corporate boards achieve better financial results that other companies.
The level of discussion that happens on a diverse board is truly breathtaking. Tough decisions become easier, the results are better, and the company grows. It is what everyone wants.
Smart and enlightened women on boards, like their best male counterparts, are champions of the interests of shareholders, always mindful too of a company’s customers and employees.
In seeking the combination of experience, skills and judgment they need for their boards of directors, nominating committees, CEOs and search firms willing to look beyond their traditional networks and away from a narrow focus on title find that accomplished women comprise an increasing proportion of the talent pool. And, once tapped to join a board, women directors quickly prove their value.
I became passionate about diversity during my 14-year career at Goldman Sachs. I witnessed that despite good intentions the firm was not a true meritocracy as it aspired to be. We had to work really hard to make it that way. In business we still have a long way to go.
Thursday, November 19
In cities across the United States
Back to top