Women on Boards
WOB IN THE NEWS
Britain joins calls to close boardroom gender gap
Women should make up at least 25 percent of the boards of the largest British companies by 2015, a report commissioned by the governement recommended Thursday.
Read the article here
Fourth Bi-annual EuropeanPWN BoardWomen Monitor 2010
in partnership with Russell Reynolds Associates – October 4 2010
- The proportion of women on the boards of the top European companies has grown to 12% in 2010 from 8% in 2004
- Keeping current growth rate of 21% every two years, parity could be reached in 16 years
- Companies score better on international diversity than gender diversity
Almost 12% of board members is female
Women make up 11.7% of boards at the top 3001 European companies up from 9.7% in 2008 and 8.5% in 2006, the best progress since first BoardMonitor. Of a total 4,875 board seats, women occupy 571. As a result of quota legislation2 Norway remains at the top of the table in having 37.9% women on boards. Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain, Belgium and France have more than doubled the number of women on boards; the introduction of Corporate Governance Codes together with equal access legislations currently under discussion in a few countries is having a significant impact, as well as increased shareholder and media scrutiny of board membership.
Women on Board – PWA Milan’s Initiative
The most frequent excuse both to justify the absence of women in Italian powerful positions and to say “NO” to any kind of affirmative action is “there are not enough qualified women ”.
This was the inspiring point in 2008, when PWA Milan – partnering with SDA Bocconi and D’Antona & Partners – decided to launch a special initiative on Women on Board.
Our goal was to demonstrate that the excuse was just a myth and that Italy had many skilled, experienced “Ready-for-Board Women” of great value. More
Women: Corporate Quotas?
Toutes les Frances : Femmes – les Quotas dans les Entreprises ?
On October 22, Chris Jaccon, VP Women on Boards of EuropeanPWN-Paris participated in a televised debate on quotas for women on boards called “Femmes: les Quotas dans les Entreprises?” on the French program Toutes les Frances.
We encourage you
to watch this 52 minute recording, where Chris made EuropeanPWN heard on this issue alongside Brigitte Grésy, renowned General Inspector of Social Affairs, and author of a very news-worthy report on gender equality at work.
“Step this way”
by Peninah Thomson describes the challenges women must overcome to continue climbing the ladder to board positions.
New Finnish Corporate Governance Code: Both genders represented on the board
As from January 1 2010 listed companies in Finland need to have at least one woman on the board. If not, they will need to explain the reason why. Read more
Female leadership pays off
Research by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum indicate that a company led by a female CEO is in practice about ten per cent more profitable that a corresponding company led by a male CEO. The share of female board members has a similar positive impact.
Women on Boards: Not Just the Right Thing . . . But the “Bright” Thing
by David A.H. Brown, Debra L. Brown and Vanessa Anastasopoulos
The issue of “women on boards” really comes down to two questions: “Why should we have more women on boards?” and “How can we have more women on boards?” Unfortunately, most of the writing on the subject addresses the “how,” and all too rarely the “why.” This research report is intended to help fill that gap. More
Third Bi-annual EuropeanPWN BoardWomen Monitor 2008
in partnership with Egon Zehnder International
- Overall progress remains glacially slow
- Norway by far Europe’s champion
- Companies score better on international diversity than gender diversity
One out of ten board members is female
The top 300 European companies now have 9.7% of women on their boards, up from 8.5% in 2006 and 8% in 2004. Of a total 5,146 board seats, women occupy 501. European champion Norway jumped to having 44.2% women on boards as a result of quota legislation . Without Norway, the European growth rate falls back to 9.1% confirming the average growth rate of around 0.5 percentage points over each two year period from 2004 onwards. This development clearly demonstrates that quotas are an effective way to accelerate growth of female representation on boards. More
For more information contact us: BWM2008@europeanpwn.net
European leadership in globalization: “The speed of change is accelerating – Are you still at the steering wheel?”
European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes addressed 20 international board women of Europe’s largest companies on the key issues facing Europe’s competitive position in the world. This 2nd edition of the EuropeanPWN Board Room Round Tables was hosted by Egon Zehnder International.
Improve the entrepreneurial spirit
In order for the EU to remain competitive it is imperative we take measures to increase entrepreneurialism. More flexible labor markets and introducing flexible working arrangements while making use of all talent available have become a necessity in global competition. “We need more people in the labor process and we need them longer,” explained Commissioner Neelie Kroes. “We also need to choose and use the potential of women at the highest levels as this leads to better decision-making and better returns to shareholders.”
Board members address key issues on corporate governance at first EuropeanPWN – IMD Board Room Round Tables (January 2008)
Information gathering, long-term value creation and board composition are the key issues facing board members in the upcoming years. This notion was the consensus opinion expressed by 15 prominent female board members from different industries, different nationalities and from various European countries during the first Boardroom Roundtable discussion in Amsterdam organizedby the European Professional Women’s Network in cooperation with IMD, a leading business school based in Switzerland. More
“Advancing Women Leaders”
report by Catalyst (July 2008) shows that the number of women on the board is a predictor of the number of women in line management functions in a company. Companies with more women board directors are more likely to select leaders from a broader, more inclusive talent pool that values skills and results regardless of gender, ultimately positioning themselves for better financial performance. More [PDF]
EuropeanPWN BoardWomen Monitor 2006
Scandinavia Strengthens its Lead while the rest of Europe stagnates
Women occupy 8.5% of European corporate boardroom seats, or 385 of the 4,535 positions considered, a tiny variation on the 8% found in 2004. The Scandinavian countries, through proactive policies and quotas are surging ahead.
The rest of Europe trails these countries, although the number of companies with at least one woman on the board has increased over the past two years (from 62% to 68%). Companies seem to prefer another element of diversity, that of nationality, which is progressing more quickly: 23% of board directors are not the same nationality as their company, compared to 18% in our 2004 survey.
Working with Women – FTSE-100 Cross-company Mentoring Programme –
The purpose of the FTSE 100 Cross-Company Mentoring Programme is to increase the pool of eligible senior female candidates for Board positions in major UK corporations and thus to “change the face of UK business”. More
Board composition IS changing: more diversity and less CEO’s….
The recently released Spencer Stuart Board Index 2007 observes significant changes in board composition of the Fortune 500 Boards compared to 2002. It concludes that gender diversity has increased (16% women directors against 12% in 2002), fewer active CEO’s are serving on boards (one-third now against 53% in 2000), more executives from the next level down have been joining boards (21% of new directors compared to 7% in 2002) as well as more first time directors (almost one-third). Boards with at least one woman director went up with 11% from 82 % in 2002 to 91%. Main reasons for these changes are that companies have adopted different approaches to identifying and selecting board candidates. (Nov 2007)
Gender Matters, McKinsey Report
McKinsey’s recently launched report confirms the findings of the already impressive body of research which shows that companies with women in top management outperform those without. The fact that McKinsey places the topic firmly on the agenda of companies is another sign that the ‘elephant at the table’ has become visible in all its glory. Companies can no longer deny the positive effects of women in the top of their organisations.
A woman’s place in the boardroom
by Peninah Thomson and Jacey Graham
The UK has made substantial progress over the past ten years in bringing more women to the board table, thanks to the combined efforts of academia (and notably Val Singh and Susan Vinnicombe’s work on the Female FTSE 100), government (the Department of Trade and Industry) and women’s networks (City Women’s Network , a London affiliate of EuropeanPWN). But much remains to be done. The authors, who are closely linked with City Women’s Network, describe the business case,
current best practice, including innovative cross-mentoring programmes put in place to groom future board members. Essential reading for corporate boards.
In Brief: Shareholders beware: financial measures excel where women serve
Catalyst’s groundbreaking 2004 study “Connecting corporate performance and gender diversity” in Fortune 500 companies was updated recently. The 2007 study confirmed that it makes business sense to have more women on board; companies with the highest percentage of women board directors outperformed those with the least representation by a staggering 53 percent for return on equity, 42 percent for return on sales, and 66 percent for return on invested capital. Shareholders should become aware of this development and start asking the right question at the annual shareholders meetings! More
The Double-Bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership
Damned or Doomed—Catalyst Study on Gender Stereotyping at Work Uncovers Double-Bind Dilemmas for Women – Study examines how a “men-as-default-leaders” mindset derails women’s advancement to business leadership More
The Business Case for Greater Board Diversity
High heels scale new heights
by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, founder of EuropeanPWN
Have you noticed the ascension of women in everything? Slowly, if somewhat subversively, women are on the rise. And so are their heels. The link between power and height is something that men long ago understood, their vertical ambitions signposted by the towering skyscrapers that dominate our urban horizons. More
Womenomics – the economic case for empowering women
By Annalisa Gigante
Annalisa Gigante, head of the Women on Boards initiative at EuropeanPWN Gender equality in business boosts economies and birth rates, so why wouldn’t you have the same number of women as men on your board? It’s time to dispel the myths and let the statistics do the talking. More
The impact of diversity and independence on board effectiveness
Speech by Chris Thomas, Leader, Board Consulting Practice Group, Egon Zehnder International, to European Professional Women’s Network in Paris, 10th February 2005.
The Statistics: where we stand today
UK : New look women directors add value to FTSE 100 boards
Women now hold 10.5% of FTSE 100 directorships
France : Women’s presence on CAC40 boards. This study by Action de femme (in French) measures women’s presence on the CAC40 boards. A poor 6.4%, despite the fact that French women have on of the highest rates of workforce participation in the world!
Netherlands : Spencer Stuart 2005 Board Survey
Only 3.6% of board positions are held by women in the 100 top companies analysed in the report.
Initiatives and Best Practice: the way forward
The European Women Lawyers Association seeks to promote more balanced corporate boards
At its AGM on May 20th, 2006, the European Women’s Lawyers Association passed a resolution recommending that the EU initiate a directive on the balanced participation of women and men on the boards of listed companies in Europe. More…
Our network in Norway, AIPBW (Association of Profesional and Business Women), recently hosted an event with Hege B. E. Nordstrand, from the Department of Child Welfare and Equality, to discuss the hot topic of women’s representation on the boards of companies listed on Norway’s stock exchange.
UK : Brighter Boards: The Department of Trade and industry’s Women’s Equality Unit is pushing for more board diversity. A recent white paper called Brighter Boards
is one of the best summaries we’ve seen on the issue, including: Top ten tips for companies, Top ten tips for head-hunters, Top ten tips for women, Top ten skills that companies look for, Ten boardroom myths demolished.
Their web site is an excellent source of research, and presents the business case for more women on boards. In particular, the Tyson report gives a clear overview of current board structures and failings, with recommendations for improvements – including greater diversity