Women on Boards

Women Directors: Gaining Ground

Our recently released 2nd annual 2020 Gender Diversity Index of Fortune 1000 companies showed that women now hold 15.6% of the board seats of Fortune 1000 companies, up a percentage point from last year. At this rate of growth, we are well on our way to surpass the campaign goal of 20% by 2020.
Smaller companies (numbers 501 - 1000) showed the largest gain this year, 13.6% in 2012 compared with 12.4% in 2011 when the 2020 Index was introduced. We were particularly pleased to see the gains in this group because historically, smaller companies have been slower to add women to their boards than larger companies (in Fortune 100 companies almost 20% (19.9%) of the board seats are held by women).
The number of "W" companies (those with 20% or more women) grew this year to 308 from 273 last year, a gain of 13%. The number of Z companies (those with no women on their boards) fell in 2012 to 152 from 177 in 2011, a 14% change. Ten companies this year added two or more women to their boards, which boosted one, Benchmark Electronics, from Z to W status.
Catch us in the Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2012/10/18/more-women-find-seats-at-the-boardroom-table/

Hold the Date: 12/12/12

The buzz is building. We'll be holding our first national conversation on diversity in the boardroom on December 12, 2012 at noon. Events will be held in restaurants, ballrooms, college campuses, office lunchrooms and kitchen tables across the US, engaging thousands of people in a united call for action to put more women on US company boards.
We already have 20 events are planned: in Boston, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix and San Francisco, organized by 2020 Steering Committees, Affiliates and supporters. New events are being added every week. Check the 12/12/12 section of the website for updates.
Anyone can hold a 12/12/12 event - they can be large forums for a hundred or more people, or intimate gatherings around your kitchen table. The structure is up to the organizer, but each event will have some common elements: our new 2020 Video which will make its debut at our 12/12/12 events nationwide and a brief presentation of our latest 2020 Index, which will be released later this month. At each event there will be a designated Tweeter, so we will have consistent tweeting throughout the day, as the events move from the East, to the Mid-West and to the West.
If you're interested in hosting a 12/12/12 event download our Organizer's Toolkit on our website. The tool kit will walk you through the basics of organizing your event, choosing a venue, engaging sponsors, and promoting the event on social media.
Don't want to organize one, but want to attend? Look for the list of events on our website.

Summer Reading

Three reports released this summer add to the growing body of research indicating that women directors are good for business. OK, not your typical summer reads, but you may want to add them to your reading list.
The Credit Suisse Research Institute's report released this month reviewed 2360 global companies and found that companies with women directors out performed companies without women directors in return on equity, average growth, and price book value multiples. Bottom line? Companies with at least one-woman director had better share price performance than those companies without women for the last six years. Supporting the 2020 Index findings, the report said that larger companies have a higher proportion of women directors.   To read the report, click here.
Last month GMI Ratings released Variation in Female Board Representation within the United States. The study suggests that while regional variations exist with respect to boardroom diversity, industry sector plays a far bigger role in determining whether women will have seats at the table.  GMI's findings suggest that the best way to address regional inequities is through industry-based initiatives. Their 2012 Women on Boards Survey reported that the US ranks 11th out of 45 countries in its percentage of female corporate board members. Of Russell 3000 directors, only 11.6% were women and 36% of Russell 3000 boards were all male. To read about the study, click here.

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