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Symposium 2012

Solution for Implementing Board Diversity

The Challenge

In the wake of the global crisis, there is clear momentum towards changing the way that business is conducted—whether in the form of increased regulations, greater accountability or changing corpora ...

In the wake of the global crisis, there is clear momentum towards changing the way that business is conducted—whether in the form of increased regulations, greater accountability or changing corporate leadership. Such initiatives include changing the composition of corporate boards to include more women. What progress has been made on these initiatives and what would make them more effective?

Companies must work proactively to create internal policies and programs that enable women to rise to leadership roles.

In the end, none of the strategies outlined above will be sustainable if companies themselves do not put in place the internal policies and programs that enable women to rise to leadership roles. These mechanisms are already there in some large companies around the world but not in the overwhelming majority.

No solution for fostering women's access to corporate leadership will work without the active leadership of a CEO or board chair. No real progress will happen without targets and continuous measurement of progress made through all of the internal programs, whether they are pay-related incentives, mentoring programs, work/life policies—such as the implementation of a suitable infrastructure where parents could leave their children during workday—, active identification of female high potentials or other initiatives.

Lastly, no progress will be made unless companies understand that diversity in their leadership is tied to competitiveness. Many CEOs still do not see the link between gender diversity in their senior ranks and better financial performance, despite a plethora of research that shows a strong correlation no matter which country conducted these studies. This is where male champions are of value and where recognition should be given to companies that do foster the growth of female leaders within their ranks.

    Related Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Strict deadlines for compliance and enforced sanctions for noncompliance with quota laws must be in place for board diversity laws to be effective.

    Strict deadlines for compliance and enforced sanctions for noncompliance with quota laws must be in place for board diversity laws to be effective.

    Strict deadlines for compliance and enforced sanctions for noncompliance with quota laws must be in place for board diversity laws to be effective.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Engage male corporate leaders in actively increasing the number of women directors.

    Engage male corporate leaders in actively increasing the number of women directors.

    Engage male corporate leaders in actively increasing the number of women directors.

    Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Multilateral investment banks, government development banks and pension funds should bind their equity stakes to contractual clauses ensuring minimal gender equity on the boards of companies in which they invest.

    Multilateral investment banks, government development banks and pension funds should bind their equity stakes to contractual clauses ensuring minimal gender equity on the boards of companies in which ...

    Multilateral investment banks, government development banks and pension funds should bind their equity stakes to contractual clauses ensuring minimal gender equity on the boards of companies in which they invest.

    Business