November 11, 2015

Directors Survey Reveals Huge Perspective Gaps on Board Diversity

PwC’s recently released 2015 Annual Corporate Directors Survey of 783 public company directors reveals heaps of noteworthy data, including a startling gender gap concerning the perceived importance of boardroom diversity. Findings include:

  • 63% of female directors describe gender diversity as a very important attribute – compared to just 35% of male directors
  • 46% of female directors describe racial diversity as very important, compared to only 27% of male directors
  • 80% of female directors “very much” believe diversity leads to enhanced board effectiveness – compared to just 40% of male directors
  • 74% of female directors “very much” agree that board diversity leads to enhanced company performance, compared to only 31% of male directors


Other noteworthy board diversity perspective gaps include:

  • 67% of mega-cap company directors believe diversity is “very important” to board composition – compared to only 31% of micro-cap company directors
  • 62% of directors with less than one year of board service “very much” agree that having diversity on the board is important, compared to only 39% of directors with tenure of more than ten years.

See also this recent Lord Davies report on the status of the UK’s board gender diversity initiative, noting that 26.1% of FTSE 100 board positions and 19.6% of FTSE 250 board positions are occupied by women, and the absence of any all-male boards in the FTSE 100 (there are just 15 in the FTSE 250). The report also recommends a new voluntary target for women’s representation on FTSE 350 boards of a minimum of 33% to be achieved within the next five years, which has been endorsed by the UK Government.

See my prior blogs on board diversity including:
Myths & Facts About Female Directors
Boards Increasing in Size to Add Women Directors
How Board Gender Impacts M&A Decision-Making
Attaining “Real” Board Gender Diversity
Reaping the Benefits of Board Diversity
Study Reveals Board & C-Suite Diversity Stats & Strategies

We have gobs of additional resources in our “Board Diversity” Practice Area.

Thirty Percent Coalition Issues Board Diversity “Call to Action”

Following its Fourth Annual Summit last month, the Thirty Percent Coalition, a national organization committed to women attaining 30% of public company board seats, issued this “Call to Action” to U.S. companies:

– Commit to best practice corporate governance policies that include explicit recognition of gender and race as considerations in the board nomination process
– Select from a gender and racially diverse candidate pool when a board opportunity presents itself
– Periodically report on their progress, as public accountability is an essential component of positive corporate change

During the summit, the Coalition commended these 62 companies that had appointed a woman to their board since the January 2012 start of the Coalition’s “Adopt a Company” Campaign, which was aimed at S&P 500 and Russell 1000 boards that were (at that time) completely lacking in gender diversity.

More on “The Mentor Blog”

We continue to post new items daily on our blog – “The Mentor Blog” – for members. Members can sign up to get that blog pushed out to them via email whenever there is a new entry by simply inputting their email address on the left side of that blog. Here are some of the latest entries:

– CCO Survey: Regulatory Fatigue & Personal Liability Concerns
– XBRL Checklist
– Non-GAAP Measures: Reg. G vs. Reg S-K
– Why & How to Engage in FASB’s Standard-Setting
– Cybersecurity on Most Board Meeting Agendas


– by Randi Val Morrison