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

| Annie Kors

About the Report

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, a Diligent brand, 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.

About the Author

Annie Kors

Former Lead Researcher

Annie Kors worked as the original Lead Researcher for the Diligent Institute.She authored several reports for The Institute, including “Winds of Change: Environmental Sustainability Rises to the Board Level” and “Governing Through the Fog: Corporate Director Perspectives on Political Uncertainty.” Before joining Diligent, she held research roles at organizations in a variety of sectors including IT and technology consulting, higher education, and documentary filmmaking. She holds a BA in History from Yale University.