Tag: boards

Liz Bolshaw

’Tis the season, not of mists, but of lists: 12 days of Christmas; three kings; 10 most valuable chief executives.

George Paz (chief executive of St Louis-based pharmacy benefit manager, Express Scripts), Steve Jobs (the late chief executive of Apple) and Louis Camilleri (Philip Morris International) all feature in the top 10 of an end-of-year ranking of chief executives (rated by how much wealth they have created for their companies). There are no prizes for guessing what is missing.

In fact you have to scroll down to number 111 before you find a female chief executive – Carol Meyrowitz, of TJX, the discount retailer, and 14th in the FT’s top 50 women in business.

The list, compiled by Chief Executive, the US magazine, ranks chief executives of Fortune 500 companies by a set of financial performance metrics including total shareholder return, for the 36 months to June 30 2011 and ranks only those who have been in post for the whole three years.

In spite of all the efforts to support women’s careers, and all the research that shows diversity to be a performance advantage, the fact remains that too few women are making it to the top.

Research by Catalyst, a non-profit organisation focusing on women and work issues, discussed here, reveals that only 3.2 per cent of the chief executives of Fortune 500 companies are women – 17 of the 500. In fact the percentage of female chief executives of Fortune 500 companies has increased only from 0.2 per cent in 1995 to 3.2 per cent today.

Change takes time. In 1890 no woman on the planet had a vote, and it took a century for universal suffrage to spread to 96 per cent of countries (1994).

This is my 168th post for this blog since we launched on October 13 last year. In that time I have written some 60,000 words on the general subject of diversity and women in leadership and interviewed academics, researchers, chief executives and policymakers. There is far more consensus than disagreement: only the question of compulsory quotas has engendered real debate.

We have learnt that even in countries that have significantly broadened women’s access to high-paid positions, this does not necessarily translate into the boardroom. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010), women occupy more than 50 per cent of high-paying management and professional positions, but just 16.1 per cent of board seats.

We have also discovered there is no correlation between economic development and diversity. In Europe, where not quite 12 per cent of board members are female, women hold 17 per cent of board positions in Bulgaria and Latvia.

As I watch the mounting excitement of my sons and daughter as Christmas approaches, I hope that by the time they make their career choices a decade from now, this blog will appear a quaint irrelevance.

Happy holidays to all our readers.

 

Liz Bolshaw

Last week, 31-year-old Chelsea Clinton joined the board of internet giant IAC/InterActive Corp, the parent of Match.com and CitySearch. This has sparked a lot of interest from right-leaning op-ed columnists, bloggers and tweeters, who have been quick to throw up their collective hands in horror. Her appointment is easy prey to accusations of cosiness: Barry Diller, high-profile media mogul and IAC senior executive, is known to have supported both Bill and Hillary Clinton’s independent runs for the US presidency. (more…)

Liz Bolshaw

A new study by Hay Group, the management consultancy, reports that male non-executive directors in Europe’s largest companies are paid an average of 7 per cent more than female non-execs. (more…)

Liz Bolshaw

There is an undeniable truth expressed in Masters of Nothing the latest mischievous book about the financial crash published earlier this week.

In the book, subtitled The Crash and How It Will Happen Again Unless We Understand Human Nature, authors Matthew Hancock and Nadhim Zahawi claim that unless we recognise how human behaviour affects the ways that companies operate, we will make the same critical errors that caused the banking crisis. (more…)

Liz Bolshaw

The deadline laid down by Lord Davies of Abersoch’s panel for FTSE 250 companies to set out targets for achieving greater board diversity has just passed. The press release reporting on what has been achieved skirts round the central question of how many companies have yet to report targets, but it is, unsurprisingly, strong on the progress that has been made. (more…)

Liz Bolshaw

You might think that supermarkets in the UK, whose customers are 70 per cent female, would have more than the average number of women at board or senior management level. But you’d be wrong. (more…)

Liz Bolshaw

More than 80 per cent of high-flying women questioned in a new survey believe there is anti-female bias in appointments to company boards – but most oppose the introduction of quotas. (more…)

Liz Bolshaw

The FTSE 100 Cross-Company Mentoring Programme has had six years of pairing chairmen and chief executives of the UK’s largest companies with nominated senior women executives from other companies. (more…)

Liz Bolshaw

The Professional Boards Forum has launched “BoardWatch” to track progress against the targets set down in Lord Davies’ report into the number of women on FTSE 100 boards. Drawing on data provided by BoardEx, a business networking service, BoardWatch will report monthly figures.

In the first of these reports, 31 per cent of new directors appointed to the boards of the UK’s largest 100 listed companies since March 1 are women. This has inched up the total percentage of women directors to 13.4 per cent (from 12.5 per cent at end-2010) and reduced the number of “stag” or all-male boards to 14 from 21. (more…)

Andrew Hill

As companies strive to meet targets – and, in a few countries, mandatory quotas – for women on corporate boards, one of the hardest myths to dispel is the lack of supply. (more…)

RSS News