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Corporations, Especially Media and Tech Companies, Should Clearly Commit to Gender Equality and Get Gender CertifiedHuffington Post March 12, 2015
Gender Quotas Not the AnswerThe Boston Globe March 11, 2015
Do quotas for corporate boards help women advance?Capital Ideas March 5, 2015
When Norway instituted a 2003 quota that 40 percent of corporate board members must be female, proponents hoped the measure would also pay off for women in the lower ranks. Even before seeing concrete results, more than a dozen other countries—from Sweden to Malaysia—quickly implemented similar quotas. Many of these countries had boards with an average of fewer than 10 percent women.
Such mandates could have mixed results, according to Marianne Bertrand, Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at Chicago Booth, who looked at Norway nearly a decade after the quota became law. In a study coauthored with Sandra Black of the University of Texas, Sissel Jensen of the Norwegian School of Economics, and Adriana Lleras-Muney of the University of California, Los Angeles, she finds that female directors have benefited from the law, but those improvements haven’t translated into higher average earnings for women broadly, or a markedly increased likelihood of a woman joining the C-suite.
What Holds Women Back From the BoardroomHuffPost Business January 7, 2015
Women still hold just a small number of corporate board seats. In 2014, only 17.7 percent of corporate directors of Fortune 1000 companies were women, according to the 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index.
At the same time, the "female economy" is on the rise. According to a study commissioned by the Global Banking Alliance for Women and supported by McKinsey & Co., women as a population segment could be called the "biggest emerging market" in the world, surpassing India and China combined. In the U.S., women comprise about half of the workforce, hold half of all management positions, and account for 10 million majority-owned, privately-held firms. Moreover, women are responsible for almost 80 percent of all consumer spending.
Boards Pay Attention To Composition To Fund Off ActivistsValueWalk January 6, 2015
The Deloitte 2014 Board Practices Report was published last week, and it highlights that corporate boards did become more diverse last year under pressure from investors and activist groups. The Deloitte report noted that 18% of corporate boards surveyed indicated they increased the number of women on their board in the past year, but there was only limited improvement in minority board representation. Corporate boards also remain skewed towards older members, with no increase in the number of younger board members since 2012. In fact, over half of the companies surveyed said that their youngest director is above the age of 50.
The Broadsheet: November 25thThe Broadsheet December 25, 2014
Incremental gains. A new report finds that women now represent 18% of all directors on boards of Fortune 1,000 companies, up from 17% in 2012 and 15% in 2011. 2020 Women on Boards
New Corporate Governance Report Details Boardroom Trends, ’15 Focus AreasBloomberg BNA December 15, 2014
Strategy will be the top area of boardroom focus in the upcoming year, according to a Dec. 15 board practices report by Deloitte LLP's Center for Corporate Governance and the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals.
The ninth annual report, which stems from a survey of 250 public companies, also noted some mixed results regarding board tenure and turnover, finding that although age limits are increasing, they remain the main reason for changes in board composition. According to the report, “50 percent of all companies surveyed said their most recent director joined the board within the past year and another 20 percent said one year ago.”
The report further found that the most sought-after board skills and backgrounds remained constant from the 2012 report: related industry experience, C-suite experience, and international business exposure. The report noted that about one third of small-cap companies picked mergers and acquisitions experience.
To Improve Boards’ Gender Diversity, Experts Say Refine Succession ProcessesBloomberg BNA December 3, 2014
An increased focus on searching for independent directors with industry expertise can lead to more diversity on boards, according to academics and practitioners interviewed by Bloomberg BNA.
Ann C. Mulé, associate director for the University of Delaware's John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance, told BBNA that nominating committees historically have asked search firms to find candidates who are current or former CEOs, which creates a much narrower pool of candidates with fewer women. One of the consequences of focusing on deep industry expertise as opposed to more traditional factors is that it will broaden the pool of potential candidates, she said.
Professor Charles Elson, director of the Weinberg Center, added that if you look below the C-suite level, companies will find a lot of qualified individuals with specialized experience. A lack of gender diversity at the C-suite level has been a persistent source of criticism in the U.S., among other countries. Even though percentages are at historically high levels, women still only comprised an average of 18.7 percent of S&P 500 boards in 2014.
Referral from HSN’s CEO Grossman changes the boards at Constellation Brand, HSNTampa Bay Business Journal November 25, 2014
The behind-the-scenes story of how HSN Inc.'s Judy Schmeling landed on Constellation Brands' board of directors includes a powerful message for companies seeking to increase gender diversity among their directors.
Go beyond the usual suspects, a narrow pool of sitting CEOs from companies of a certain size, and instead look for diverse candidates, Schmeling said. "Ask women to recommend other qualified women," she said, then added, "and men, too."
Pillsbury sponsors 2020 Women on Boards National Conversation on Board DiversityThe Lawyer October 6, 2014
Pillsbury is a title sponsor of the 2020 Women on Boards 2014 National Conversation on Board Diversity, which is set to take place on 20 November in cities throughout the US and internationally. The event will involve sessions led by C-level and senior executives to discuss what measures are needed for the US to become a global leader in the advancement of women to company boards.
Women and People of Color Are the Missing Link on Corporate Boards: What Massachusetts Could Teach Corporate AmericaHuffington Post October 2, 2014
America ranks 9th in the world, slightly ahead of Israel, a much smaller country, when it comes to women on corporate boards. According to the nonprofit organization Catalyst, women hold only 17 percent of corporate board seats and that figure has not changed in eight years. The Alliance for Board Diversity reports that white men account for 73 percent of the board seats of Fortune 500 companies, noting little change over the last decade.
The topic of diversity on corporate boards is both timely and important, particularly as the country is becoming more culturally and gender diverse. According to the third annual 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index of Fortune 1000 Companies, women continue to make steady gains in the boardrooms of Fortune 1000 companies, and now make up 16.6 percent of board membership, up from 14.6 percent in 2011.
2020 Women on Boards: Advocacy group aims to diversify corporate boardsThe Bay State Banner September 16, 2014
The advocacy group, 2020 Women on Boards, was founded in Boston in 2010. The following year it became a national organization. Four years later, the nonprofit continues blazing a trail for gender equality on corporate boards.
As part of their extensive research into corporate America, 2020 Women on Boards produces a directory that helps consumers and investors to evaluate a corporation based on the percentage of women on its board. A company given a “W” rating is a Winner with 20 percent or higher female board members. “V” stands for Very close to the target 20 percent. “T” means that the corporate board has one Token woman. “Z” is for Zero.
The cofounders, Malli Gero and Stephanie Sonnabend took action to change what they saw as unsatisfactorily slow progress in the number of women on corporate boards. Using education, grassroots advocacy and social and traditional media, for their campaign, they have been successful in adding gender diversity to the criteria for corporate governance best practices. Malli Gero, cofounder and executive director, recently shared her wisdom with Banner Biz.
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