Strategies for Building High Performing Diverse Boards
I’d like to share our new study with you: Women Board Members in Technology Companies: Strategies for Building Diverse High Performing Boards. The report takes an in-depth view at the topic. The resulting facts and figures suggest specific recommendations for creating greater diversity.
This report looks at an ecosystem of companies to determine opportunities and bottlenecks. Three key factors are examined: company size, industry sector and the number of insiders.
We reviewed 581 tech companies and discovered that 34% had 2 or more women directors, 36% have one woman on their board; but 30 percent of tech companies have zero women on their boards. In stark contrast?????, less than 12 percent have three or more women on their boards — the minimum number of women required to correlate with greater company performance.
The smaller the companies, the fewer women board members. Companies in the $100 million to $500 million revenue size have 216 women board seats versus 1,662 male seats. Nearly all companies with over $5 billion in revenue have at least one woman.
The report also examines the backgrounds of the women themselves as a group to identify the coveted characteristics they possess that drives board invites. In addition to education and age, our report offers the biographies of the youngest and the oldest women directors and finds patterns in their backgrounds. The report also explores the common patterns and characteristics of women on the top 20 boards, women who sit on multiple boards, and women with one or two board leadership roles.
Ultimately, our report concludes that the tech industry must look at the entire ecosystem — not just the largest companies — to drive greater gender balance on boards. Closing the gap is no longer just a matter of breaking through a glass ceiling; it’s about opening up doors for women to gain experience in smaller companies.
We offer strategic recommendations for overcoming the challenges and helping tech companies diversify their boards in order to include perspectives that are shown to correlate with positive business results. These include drastically extending the succession planning timeline, training high potential executives internally with governance matters, and seeding the ecosystem by assisting smaller companies in identifing outstanding, diverse talent.
Some of the key statistics and recommendations of the report are highlighted in the next few pages. I hope you gain some insights from this report to help you build more diverse boards. Comments and observations are highly appreciated. We are an email or call away.