For the first time, Catalyst, a leading nonprofit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business, takes its 2014 Catalyst Census: Women Board Directors global, as the call for gender equality on boards grows worldwide. Created in partnership with The Data Morphosis Group, the new and expanded Census focuses on women’s share of board seats at stock market index companies across three regions and 20 countries, including the United States, Canada, Europe (14 countries), and Asia-Pacific (Australia, Hong Kong, India, and Japan).
Among the findings:
“We have evidence and optimism that closing the gender gap on corporate boards is possible, yet the current numbers are simply not good enough,” says Deborah Gillis, President & CEO, Catalyst. “Companies that are not making diversity on boards a priority should be embarrassed. Smart leaders know that they can either lead the movement toward making profound and lasting impact, or be left behind. The way of the past is not the way of the future.”
Diverse boards strengthen a company’s talent pipeline, and are correlated with more women Corporate Officers, increased financial performance, more innovation, and higher group performance. This we know. Research also shows a clear link between diversity and corporate social responsibility, and this is evidenced again in Catalyst’s new report, Companies Behaving Responsibly: Gender Diversity on Boards, which further highlights that what’s good for women is good for men, business, communities, and indeed, good for the world.
The good news? Catalyst sees more leaders stepping up and successfully taking intentional action to disrupt the status quo and ensure that women have a seat at the table. Here’s how.
The Women on Boardssm program of Borderless is as well a select network of qualified female executives with leadership experience in the sectors served by the firm. Members of the network are either already engaged on boards or share an ambition to qualify for Non-Executive Board positions.
Through a range of face-to-face and online networking opportunities, Borderless Women on Boards℠ supports executives in developing the required expertise, and positions them for success in Non-Executive Board roles.
There is no research support for the notion that diversifying the workforce automatically improves a company’s performance. Instead organizations must adopt a learning orientation and be willing to change the corporate culture and power structure.
Director Shalini Kantayya’s documentary ‘Coded Bias’ unravels how inherent gender and racial biases get embedded in the algorithms that run our lives.
After analyzing data from hundreds of employers, the authors report that the typical diversity training program doesn’t just fail to promote diversity. It actually leads to declines in management diversity.