A Few Good Women: Gender Inclusion in Public Company Board Leadership

Read Diligent Institute’s report to learn how women directors are incorporated into board leadership roles.

The need for greater gender diversity on public company boards has dominated many conversations around governance in recent years. There are a number of reasons for this – women directors and dozens of organizations have worked to call attention to the lack of representation, companies have begun to recognize the important business case for diverse leadership, investors have engaged in activism around gender diversity on boards, and the media has increased attention on diversity and corporate governance issues. Likewise, the demands of modern governance is prompting boards to bring diverse perspectives and skill sets into the boardroom to serve as a bulwark against risk.

In A Few Good Women, Diligent Institute set out to measure the levels of inclusion of women board directors on the public company boards. The report examines the rates of participation by women directors on committees, as committee chairs, and in board leadership positions, including board chair and lead director roles. The goal was to determine the following:

  • Are women merely being asked to join boards, or are they being provided with opportunities to lead while on the board – as lead director, board chair, or as chair of a committee?
  • How often are women taking on board leadership roles, and how does that compare with men?
  • Do women take on board leadership positions immediately upon joining boards, or are they required to wait? Do they wait longer than male directors for leadership opportunities?

The report leveraged data and analytics provided by CGLytics on the directors of 5,911 public companies across the globe.

Read the full report to dig into the numbers, look over regional data, read director perspectives from their own experience, and consider the implications for your board.

A wide variety organizations are working consistently towards improving diversity and inclusion on corporate boards. Diligent Institute is proud to publish research to support their ongoing efforts and to acknowledge their hard work to promote equitable representation. A list of these groups is available here.