NEWS AND INSIGHTS UPDATE:
Gender inequality at executive levels and on corporate boards of directors is a global problem. To date, nine countries have created some kind of quota requirements for corporate board diversity and another 20 have added some type of requirement for companies to address corporate board diversity in their annual reports.
Despite these efforts to boost board diversity, women and other minorities are still grossly underrepresented. For example, corporate boards of Canadian companies include very few women — a problem that is motivating people to call for diversity quotas. Janet MccFarland of The Globe and Mail explains:
“In Canada, women accounted for about 10 per cent of directors on boards of publicly traded companies in 2011 – a proportion that was unchanged from 2009, according to Catalyst.
“The Globe and Mail’s annual Board Games report on corporate governance found 41 per cent of companies in the benchmark S&P/TSX index still have no women on their boards, although that is an improvement from 45 per cent last year. It is unclear whether there is permanent improvement, however, because 41 per cent had no women in 2009, and the proportion then worsened in 2010 and 2011.
“The result of such lackluster progress is that even many who don’t support mandatory quotas for women are growing keen to see a national study or task force consider various policy options to encourage progress on one of the most intractable corporate governance concerns of the past decade.”
What do you think about diversity quotas for corporate boards of directors?