WHITE PAPER: "MORE WOMEN ON CORPORATE BOARDS"
by KATHY GRAHAM
- There are more women on corporate boards. The trend in Illinois-headquartered NYSE and NASDAQ public corporations matches the national trend.
- FIRST STRUCTURAL SHIFT: The number of women on U.S. corporate boards is increasing, so much so that the number of corporate boards with women is larger than those without women on the board and trending upwards.
- SECOND STRUCTURAL SHIFT: The profile of women on corporate boards has changed. The majority of the women who are currently members on corporate boards of directors now have the following four characteristics:
- 1. Over 95% are successful corporate leaders with over 60% of them in a CEO type role—i.e., front line (not staff) positions with full profit and loss responsibility for a sizeable for profit corporation or a large division of a major company.
- 2. Over 90% do not work for nor are they obviously related to the company’s top leaders.
- 3. Around 70% have advanced degrees (JD, MA, MBA, PhD) or certifications (CPA, CFA).
- 4. The majority of these board women think, act, and speak assertively—i.e., not passive nor aggressive, but directive about their intent.
- This last structural shift—a change to assertive behavior—is likely an outgrowth from the level of education and accomplishment in front line positions at major firms that these women share in common.