Catalyst Proudly Announces Newest US Class Members to Catalyst Women On Board™
Catalyst proudly announced the launch of its second US class of Catalyst Women On Board™, a high-level sponsorship initiative that advances women to the boardroom. Catalyst Women On Board™ pairs CEO/board chairs with CEO-endorsed, senior executive women to promote their candidacy for board appointments. To date, more than 60% of Catalyst Women On Board™ alumnae have been appointed to corporate boards. We are grateful to the corporate and board leaders serving as mentors and sponsors for the initiative, which was founded in Canada in 2007 and expanded to the United States in 2015.
Almost 40% of New Fortune 100 Directors are Women
The EY Center for Board Matters released a report that demonstrates the composition of independent directors newly elected to Fortune 100 boards in 2016. The findings indicate that approximately 60% of Fortune 100 boards added at least one director. Of the Fortune 100 Class of 2016, women represent 39% of newly appointed directors, with an average age of 57. The data also shows that just over half of the Class of 2016 formerly held or presently holds a CEO title.
Data Showcases Skills Composition of Board Directors Equilar examined the skills and expertise of board members from the proxy statements of over 300 public companies in the United States and Canada in a recent report. The top skills identified were finance, legal and governance, and HR and talent development. Experience in the C-Suite, service on corporate boards and general leadership were also predominant.
Catalyst Corporate Board Services “On the Move” Brande Stellings, Senior Vice President of Catalyst Advisory Services, was quoted in a Washington Post article about Wall Street’s “Fearless Girl” statue, placed by McCann New York and State Street Global Advisors this year. She stated: "I feel like every other month a new study comes out that makes the case for gender diversity in corporate leadership, but clearly the business case is not providing the motivation. To see important players like State Street say we’re going to be looking at this, and we’re going to be holding you accountable — I think that’s a significant development.”
Serena Fong, Catalyst Vice President of Government Affairs, joined Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney to support the permanence of the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street in New York City and the reintroduction of the Gender Diversity in Corporate Leadership Act (H.R. 1611). She stated: “Gender parity on boards and in leadership is desirable not only for the sake of fairness and equity; it would also enhance our country’s ability to compete and flourish in a global economy…. Fearless Girl represents the strength having more women on boards gives to companies and our communities.”
Brande Stellings addressed the news of Serena Williams’ appointment to the SurveyMonkey board as having the potential to draw attention to the issue of the diversity that is lacking on corporate boards in a recent ESPN article. She stated: "This is an opportunity to show you don't want a board full of people with the same backgrounds and experiences as everyone else. [Williams] can bring a fresh perspective and a different voice that could be helpful for disrupting the 'group think' that's typical in many boardrooms."
Click here to access our new, searchable Catalyst Women On Board™ Director Database!
Did You Know? The Equilar Gender Diversity Index reported that 22 companies in the Russell 3000 have reached gender parity in the boardroom. By contrast, over 700 have zero women board directors.