- Women held slightly more than 15% of corporate directors’ seats in publicly traded companies at the end of 2016, the AP reports. That 15% figure is up from 14% in 2015 and from 12% in 2011, a study by corporate research firm Equilar shows.
- The rise in the number of women in the board room is slow but steady, per the AP report. At the current pace, however, parity between female and male directors won’t occur until 2055, according to Equilar.
- The study also revealed that 738 companies still have no female directors. But 60 of the companies that have had no female directors since 2011 more recently added at least one women, says the AP.
Despite the slow increase in female directors, a Credit Suisse study of 3,400 companies shows corporate boards are more likely to have more women than C-Suites. This reveals a hiring lag for women in the upper management levels of the corporate world — directors are appointed, but CEOs and vice presidents are paid hires.
The Credit Suisse study also shows that companies with at least one female director have higher stock returns than boards with all male directors. This study result might be coincidental, but it could also mean that female directors attract a broader customer or patron base.
To close the hiring gap, HR can work with managers to identify women who can be promoted internally to senior-level positions. Pay gaps, a problem CHROs in particular know all too well, might be harder to solve.