Companies with a female CEO or board chair have almost twice as many women on the board as companies led by men. Deloitte’s Women in the Boardroom report, which tracks the efforts of 64 countries to promote boardroom gender diversity, found that 29 per cent of board positions are held by women in companies with a female CEO. This compares to 15 per cent in companies with a male CEO.
Overall, women are still largely under represented on corporate boards, despite continued efforts to improve inclusion and boardroom gender diversity. Only 15 per cent of board seats worldwide are held by women, a modest increase from the 12 per cent reported in the 2015 edition of our report. Norway has the largest share of board seats held by women at 42 per cent, followed by France (33 per cent) and Sweden (32 per cent). The UK is 12th on 20 per cent, an increase from 15.6 per cent in 2015. New Zealand has achieved the strongest growth since 2015, with the number of board seats held by women increasing to 28 per cent from 18 per cent and the number of female chairs increasing to 11 per cent from five per cent.
Nick Owen, chairman of Deloitte North West Europe, said: “Globally organisations with women in the top leadership positions have double the number of women holding board seats. As the number of female CEOs and board chairs climbs, it is likely to spur greater board diversity and build a culture of inclusion.
“This is not just about token representation, but active participation by women on boards. Deloitte’s women on boards programme is making sure they develop the skills so their voice can count. Making boards and organisations inclusive is crucial to make sure that all perspectives are taken into account.
“The increase in the number of women on UK boards and the fact that many companies have met or exceeded Lord Davies’ target is positive. The focus is now on the representation of senior women below the board level. The Hampton-Alexander review recommended that women should hold one-third of positions on, or reporting into, executives committees at FTSE 100 companies. Although achieving this will be difficult, more diverse management teams will have a real impact on building an inclusive culture, underpinned by respect. Focusing on culture will enable UK businesses to provide a working environment where people are able to succeed, and are judged solely on the value they bring.
“As organisations navigate technological and societal shifts which are transforming the future of work, boards will have a critical role to play. Diversity of thought and people will be critical to ensure that board members are exploring challenges from every angle and consistently bringing a fresh point of view.”
For additional information or to view “Women in the Boardroom” click on the link https://goo.gl/qFus3z.