By Hannah Helbert
2012 has been the seventh consecutive year that no growth was recorded in the amount of women working in Board Director and Officer Positions. In the US, Women only held 16.6 percent of board seats, with an increase of only half a percentage or less.
A mere 14.3 percent of Executive Officers were women, a number which has flat-lined for the third year straight. Furthermore, women of colour held only 3.3 percent of board seats, indicating no increase. More than two thirds of the Fortune’s 500 (Fortune magazine’s globally ranked top 500 corporations) featured no women of colour in their board of directors for the fifth consecutive year. It was calculated that in total, only 8.1 percent of the top earning slots were also held by women.
Catalyst, a leading non-profit organisation which promotes gender equality, has responded to the challenges facing women in light of these claims. They’ve initiated the Catalyst Corporate Board Resource as a result, hoping to increase women’s positions within the business sector. This enables Catalyst’s highly respected Board Directors and member company CEOs to recommend women they personally sponsor and endorse as “corporate board-ready.” They will generate a unique directory that Catalyst member companies can access as a first resource when directorships become available.
“This initiative helps to counter the notion that board-qualified women are hard to find,” said Ilene H. Lang, President and CEO of Catalyst. “Our member company CEOs can directly impact and increase gender diversity in their own boardrooms and at others where they have influence, providing extraordinary leadership opportunities for top women executives. If only half of Catalyst’s members add one woman board director, the 2013 Census could reflect growth in women’s representation to almost 20 per cent!”
Tags: women on boards