Globally, there is a lot of stress on reaching gender equality at the board level in the corporate sector. To analyze the progress, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) compiled a report which concluded that a board with men and women alike represents a company better. It has proved to identify with its customers and bring in diverse views on the table while helping the company adapt to changes.
"The diversity of S&P 500 board has been steadily improving over the last decade, as the average board currently has 22 per cent women, up from 14 per cent in 2008," BofAML strategist Savita Subramanian said in a research note.
Companies have added more women into its board, but equality has a long way to come.
"While having quadrupled since 2008, just 11 per cent of companies have at least one-third of their board seats held by women and just 1 per cent (five companies) have half or more of their board seats held by women," the report said. It added that one per cent of boards remain all-male, down from 15 per cent in 2008.
Telecom, staples and utilities sector in S&P companies win with most gender equal board members. In staples, at least 25% companies have one-third women board-members
This shows a great decline in all-male panels in the corporate world, which is positive in terms of curbing the bro-narrative in companies.
Telecom, staples and utilities sector in S&P companies win with most gender equal board members. In staples, at least 25% companies have one-third women board-members.
However, energy, industrial and real estate continue to be male-dominated with boards full of male members.
The report points out that the companies with a gender diverse board comes up with better return on equity (ROEs) than companies with lesser diverse boards.
Analyst Lorraine Hutchinson feels that specialty retail lacks a gender diverse board because the sector targets young women and the board is generally “old and male”.
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