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Symposium 2011

Solution for Board Diversity and Corporate Governance

The Challenge

The global financial crisis has led to demands for greater transparency in corporate practices. But less attention has been paid to whom the players should be in this new environment. Corporate boar ...

The global financial crisis has led to demands for greater transparency in corporate practices. But less attention has been paid to whom the players should be in this new environment. Corporate boards across the world generally have a predominance of male directors. Research shows a lack of diversity in terms of gender, race/ethnicity and international expertise at a time when “global” defines the business climate.

Codes of good corporate governance should include gender diversity as a key component.

Since companies look to corporate governance codes to benchmark their own performance, the inclusion of gender diversity language in listing requirements for stock exchanges will reinforce the concept of a diverse board that reflects markets, new skill sets and sources for innovation. There are many countries where no such language exists or where diversity is included but without any reference to gender.

Finland credits the strongly worded gender diversity component in its governance code for the increase in the percentage of women directors even without a quota in place. Australia’s stringent listing requirements regarding gender diversity have already yielded surprising commitments from companies with targets of 30–40% women in their senior staff or boards.

    Related Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Research and publications on the “business case” should be widely articulated by corporate leaders and advocates of board  diversity so that it becomes a more familiar context for women’s inclusion ...

    Research and publications on the “business case” should be widely articulated by corporate leaders and advocates of board  diversity so that it becomes a more familiar context for women’s inclu ...

    Research and publications on the “business case” should be widely articulated by corporate leaders and advocates of board  diversity so that it becomes a more familiar context for women’s inclusion on corporate boards.

    Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Use quota laws and enforce full implementation of these laws. Encourage greater transparency on voluntary targets and disclosure through security regulators in those countries where hard quotas are not accepted.

    Use quota laws and enforce full implementation of these laws. Encourage greater transparency on voluntary targets and disclosure through security regulators in those countries where hard quotas are no ...

    Use quota laws and enforce full implementation of these laws. Encourage greater transparency on voluntary targets and disclosure through security regulators in those countries where hard quotas are not accepted.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    The networks and registries of accomplished women need to be merged and made known to the network of corporate decision-makers.

    The networks and registries of accomplished women need to be merged and made known to the network of corporate decision-makers.

    The networks and registries of accomplished women need to be merged and made known to the network of corporate decision-makers.

    Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Establish male “champions of change”—corporate CEOs who can be the public voice for gender diversity on boards and in senior management, and who can even sponsor and mentor women for ...

    Establish male “champions of change”—corporate CEOs who can be the public voice for gender diversity on boards and in senior management, and who can even sponsor and mentor women for board place ...

    Establish male “champions of change”—corporate CEOs who can be the public voice for gender diversity on boards and in senior management, and who can even sponsor and mentor women for board placement.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Executive search firms need to broaden their pool of candidates for board nominations and include women in any list of recommendations they give to clients. They should publicize this as ...

    Executive search firms need to broaden their pool of candidates for board nominations and include women in any list of recommendations they give to clients. They should publicize this as an advantage ...

    Executive search firms need to broaden their pool of candidates for board nominations and include women in any list of recommendations they give to clients. They should publicize this as an advantage of the services they offer.

    Business