You are here: Home Knowledge Base Society Board Diversity and Corporate Governance Solutions 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 ...
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.

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.

The premise behind gender diversity on boards is based on market realities: women’s clout as consumers; their labor force participation as almost half the world’s workers; and the dynamic growth of female entrepreneurship. A growing body of cross-country evidence also points to a correlation between the presence of more women in senior management and board positions and improved financial performance, whether measured by return on assets, return on equity, increased share value or enhanced financial oversight. This is the “business case” for gender diversity on boards.

McKinsey’s recent report, “Women Matter III,” which surveyed nearly 2,000 C-suite executives in several countries, found that 65% understood and supported the “business case” for women’s inclusion but only 29% actually acted on it. Gender diversity is still seen as a soft issue and not a key part of a company’s business strategy.

This finding indicates the value of having industry leaders whose companies already have a critical mass of women directors speak to their peers about their own rationale for having such high percentages of women directors. Business magazines as well as popular media should also be outlets for reinforcing women’s market impact and the growth of companies that understand this connection. Repetition of a message can often create or promote reality—and it is still needed to make the case for women’s inclusion in business leadership roles.

    Related Solutions

    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

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

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

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

    Business
    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