Posts Tagged 'Women'

Women stall on reaching corporate Australia’s highest rungs

by Alana Schetzer for The Sydney Morning Herald

Harvey Norman’s Gerry Harvey is known for being outspoken – whether sharing his views on the evils of online retailing, restrictive workplace laws or corporate governance types who frown on his role as executive chairman of the retailer.

And he’s no less blunt when it comes to the issue of gender equality in corporate Australia – and the chances of it ever being realised.

“We’ve got a campaign here to get 50 per cent women and we’re not achieving it,” he says. “We’re well short.”

Women make up 42 per cent of the retailer’s workforce but just 26per cent of senior executives – although that figure does include a rare female chief executive, KatiePage. Read more here.

Women on Boards: A Conversation with (Male) Directors


Research suggests that the presence of women on boards contributes to improving corporate performance. Yet, globally over 90 percent of directorships are held by men. To better understand the opportunities for and obstacles to increasing the number of women on boards, IFC invited over 15 prominent male chairpersons, CEOs, and directors of listed and unlisted companies across a range of industries and countries to share their opinions on how women add value to the corporate decision-making process. They offer practical ideas on how to encourage recruitment of women to boards through networking, training, and improving transparency of the director nomination process.

The publication (pdf) includes interviews with Gilberto Mifano (Brazil), Peter Dey (Canada), Zhang Shude (China), Ashraf Gamal (Egypt), Christian Strenger (Germany), Jaspal Bindra (India), Nasser Saidi (Lebanon), Patrick Zurstrassen (Luxembourg), Paul Chang (Malaysia), Zaffar Khan (Pakistan), Mervyn King (South Africa), Lars Thunell (Sweden), Yilmaz Argüden (Turkey), John Plender (United Kingdom), Peter Browning (United States), Patrick Chisanga (Zambia)… (continue reading and download the document!)

Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective

published by Boardmember, March 18th, 2011.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) has released a report from the Deloitte Global Center for Corporate Governance titled, “Women in the boardroom: A global perspective.” The report, among the most comprehensive conducted on boardroom diversity, examines the pursuit of gender parity in boardrooms around the world and provides an overview of legal and regulatory initiatives under way in 12* countries, from Australia to Belgium to the United States. To make sense of the myriad viewpoints on how organizations can encourage more points of view in the boardroom, the Deloitte Global Center for Corporate Governance report incorporates unique views from three prominent directors from around the world. Each director shares her thoughts on best practices for increasing boardroom diversity as well as the effectiveness of quotas.

Download a copy of the white paper to learn how a number of countries around the world are dealing with the issue by introducing legislation, or are in various stages of talking about doing so, to require quotas—or minimum numbers of women—to serve on publicly listed companies’ boards of directors.

*Countries profiled: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom, United States

A Push For More Women On Corporate Boards

by NPR STAFF for NPR, February 23rd, 2011.

The chief executive of Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, recently said that a woman on his company’s board of directors would make the board “more colorful, and prettier.”

Josef Ackermann’s comment sparked an outcry, in part because it comes as his country debates a law that would require companies to put more women on corporate boards. (Currently there are no women on the board of Deutsche Bank.)

Great Britain is also debating this question. France is phasing in a law. Spain has had a law since 2007. All would follow Norway, which in 2005 passed a law mandating that at least 40 percent of corporate boards’ members be women.

Adrian Wooldridge, a columnist for The Economist magazine who writes about business trends, tells NPR’s Steve Inskeep that in many parliaments there is a sense that companies should be more representative of the population. “So you see some parliaments where you are beginning to get up to 50 percent representation in parliament, so these politicians sit back and think, ‘Why is the corporate boardroom so different’?”

According to surveys in industrialized countries, women make up, on average, 10 percent to 12 percent of corporate board directors. In the U.S., according to a new report by the Deloitte Global Center for Corporate Governance, women make up 15.2 percent of Fortune 500 company boards. In a sample survey of 1,754 listed companies, women made up 12.2 percent of board directors. (continue reading… )


Women on Corp Boards?

by Suzanne Hopgood LLC for The Hopgood Group, February 22nd, 2011.

Is there an advantage to having women on corporate boards, beyond the obvious perspectives, background, leadership, and skill sets they contribute? The typical woman’s background includes making changes along the career path as we’ve crashed into the (glass?) concrete ceiling. Successful women have dealt with these issues, made the changes, and moved on to be successful in the next challenge, adapting to whatever the latest challenge requires. That kind of flexibility and experience in a constantly changing environment is critical to companies working their way through today’s challenges. Successful women provide a much-needed voice and perspective.

Women still face a steep climb to the top table

by Ruth Sunderland for the Guardian, August 23, 2009.

Women still face a steep climb to the top table.

Research commissioned by the Observer has revealed that UK boardrooms are still overwhelmingly male-dominated, despite the fact that more than nine out of 10 companies claim to have an equal opportunities policy in place.

Women occupy only 242 out of 2,742 seats on the boards of FTSE 350 companies, according to a study by The Co-operative Asset Management as part of our Good Companies Guide series of reports into ethical and socially responsible practice in corporate Britain.

More than 130 companies out of those surveyed had an all-male board and the vast majority of female directorships are non-executive. Women hold only 34 executive board seats out of a possible 970.

As a result of this work, Co-operative intends in future to consider gender and diversity when it is assessing companies from an ethical, social and governance perspective.

John Reizenstein, managing director of Co-operative Asset Management, said: “It’s a commonplace that women and minorities ought to be better represented in boards and other top positions. But does it make good business sense? Our report shows that leading UK plcs believe an inclusive, progressive approach brings real benefits, but also shows that too many companies still appear to pay the issue lip service. We think organisations which foster diversity at the top have an advantage over those which don’t.”…(continue reading)

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