Increasing the number of women on corporate boards

September 01, 20161 minute read

Brenda Trenowden, Global Chair of 30% Club, an initiative launched in the UK in 2010 with a goal of achieving a minimum of 30% women on FTSE-100 boards, said in an interview recently in Bloomberg Businessweek that the pipeline is the problem. “The middle of companies is where we just don’t see enough progress.”

Since the initiative was launched, the percentage of women on the targeted UK company boards has risen from 12.5 percent to 26 percent. Trenowden says there’s more work to be done and it has to start at the top. “A company has to understand that this is a business imperative. It has to be led by the CEO, by the chair, and then by managers all the way down.”

She also says companies must understand “which variates apply to them: Do they have an issue with recruitment? Is it a perception around whether they’re a less female-friendly industry?”

At the 2016 AWESOME Symposium, one of the panels was led by Sandra Beach-Lin, a leader of Paradigm 4 Parity, also an initiative addressing the low percentage of women on corporate boards and in executive positions. P4P is a coalition of 50 senior women leaders (CEOs, senior executive, founders, board members, and business academics) who have the goal of achieving parity by 2030. AWESOME panel members were male leaders from multiple industries, and their insights contributed to the collective wisdom included in the upcoming REALITY CHECK – Volume Five.