The following post comes to us from Julie C. Norris
, partner with CTPartners, and is based on a CTPartners report. The complete report, including exhibits and footnotes, is available here
The world has changed in the past 10 years. Companies can go from obscurity to an estimated $100 billion market cap (Facebook) or from zero to $1 billion in revenue very quickly (Groupon did it in two years), or from near collapse in the late ‘90s to become one of the world’s most valuable companies (Apple). To succeed today, companies need to embrace change, in ways that include learning to market and sell using digital channels, pursuing global customers, leveraging technology, and relentlessly streamlining operations to remain competitive.
CTPartners is starting to see changes in the boardroom that mirror these macro changes. There are more than 1,100 directors currently serving on Fortune 1000 boards who are over 70 years old. With these impending vacancies, demand is emerging for a new generation of directors, one which will include individuals capable of contributing new insights into customers, technology, distribution channels, and international markets. The goal is to create a boardroom with diverse perspectives, which leads to better-informed discussions and more effective decision making. With this new generation comes the opportunity to include more women directors. The onus is on boards, management teams, and search firms to ensure that qualified women are given consideration in the director recruitment process.
Among the Fortune 1000, there are 139 boards that have no women directors; and, women comprise fewer than fifteen percent of all directors. Beyond the Fortune 1000, representation by women is even less. CTPartners looked at an additional 1,000 midcap companies with revenue ranging from $500mm to $3 billion and found that 300 still had no female directors. Perhaps most startling is the fact that, among these companies with no women directors, there are many that sell directly to consumers. Women control nearly 75 percent of consumer purchasing decisions, yet there are still 29 Fortune 1000 consumer companies with no women on their boards. On a positive note, there are 54 Fortune 1000 consumer companies with three or more women on their boards. This raises a pressing question: Why is it that some consumer companies embrace women directors and others do not?
…continue reading: Women on Boards: Review & Outlook