Tag: women on 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.

 

To an outsider Germany might seem like a place where women could easily fill high-powered positions, writes Rebeka Shaid. After all, the country is governed by chancellor Angela Merkel, who Forbes recently crowned “the world’s most powerful woman”. Yet last year the German Institute for Economic Research found that over 90 per cent of the nation’s top-100 companies did not appoint one single woman to an executive positions. How can this be? (more…)

Rebecca Knight

As countries around the world set targets to increase the number of women directors in public companies, new research suggests that meeting those goals might be complicated by the fact that male and female board members do not agree on whether board diversity will improve a board’s performance.

According to the research, women and men on corporate boards disagree on the need for quotas and the reasons why fewer women are represented on boards, and whether or not a diverse board matters for good corporate governance.

(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

First, the good news. The Chartered Management Institute’s yearly salary survey published on Wednesday shows that junior female executives in the UK are earning as much as their male counterparts for the first time in the survey’s 38-year history.

Now, the bad news. Looking at the overall picture of 34,158 executives surveyed (including directors), men continue to be paid almost a third more than women doing the same jobs – and the gap is slightly wider than last year. (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 recent proposals by Michel Barnier, the European commissioner for internal markets, to impose a quota requiring Europe’s banks to have one-third women on their boards should come as no surprise. (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