Sector News

Half of women on boards like quotas but male colleagues say no – survey

April 25, 2016
Diversity & Inclusion

Half of women sitting on corporate boards of directors around the world support quota systems to fix stubborn gender imbalances in the boardroom, but less than 10 percent of their male colleagues agree, said a study released this week.

Female directors are also more likely than men to approve of term limits and mandatory retirement ages to change corporate board membership, said the survey by Harvard Business School researchers, the WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) Foundation and Spencer Stuart, a consulting firm.

Asked how they arrived in their board appointments, 39 percent of women said their gender was a significant factor.

Just 1 percent of men said the same, said the survey released on Wednesday.

Men and women were divided as well on the reasons that female board membership remains low, said the survey, which culled responses from more than 4,000 male and female directors from 60 nations.

Male directors, particularly older men, say there is a “lack of qualified female candidates,” it said.

But female directors say diversity is not a board priority and traditional networks tend to be male-dominated, it said.

“It’s often hard to see an informal ‘network’ if you are in the middle of it, but you can see it very clearly when you’re on the outside,” WCD chairwoman Susan Stautberg said in a statement.

Forty-nine percent of female directors supported quotas to promote board diversity, compared to 9 percent of male directors.

Women younger than 55 were more likely than older women to support such quotas, the survey said.

Women hold one in eight corporate board seats worldwide, according to research by the global consulting firm Deloitte, which analyzed board membership in 49 nations.

Board quotas have been set up in several European nations, and a European Commission proposal seeks to make 40 percent of corporate boards female in the next four years.

Among women, more than 40 percent favor government regulations that require boards to disclose the steps they are taking to promote diversity, while just 14 percent of male directors agree, the research by Harvard, WCD and Spencer Stuart found.

By Ellen Wulfhorst

Credit to Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org

Source: Reuters

comments closed

Related News

January 22, 2023

Enabled to do an even better job – building a culture of Easiness

Diversity & Inclusion

Making everyday work easier for people is one of the fundamentals of Hiab’s Employees First culture. In this article Hiab’s CHRO shares how they are striving to enable their employees to do an even better job through an easier work environment.

January 14, 2023

DEI Lighthouses: here’s what works for diversity, equity and inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion

Businesses across the world are forecast to spend more than $15.4 billion on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)-related efforts by 2026. But progress on DEI is slow and in order to accelerate change worldwide we need greater clarity on what works, and what does not. The Global Parity Alliance’s DEI Lighthouse report outlines five success factors across initiatives that had the most sustained impact.

January 8, 2023

Navigating the challenges of expatriation: insights from Dr. Catherine Koini and Andrew Kris

Diversity & Inclusion

In this episode of the Borderless Executive Podcast, Dr. Catherine Koini and Andrew Kris share their personal experiences and insights on living and working abroad as internationally mobile executives. From managing stress and anxiety, to adapting to a new culture.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach