Knowledge Center

ALLETE, Inc.—Recruitment Practices and Board Culture: Prioritizing Qualifications and Fostering Inclusion to Increase Gender Balance

At a time when women's board representation in Fortune 500 companies is just over 16 percent, and in an industry still largely dominated by men, ALLETE, Inc.'s board stands out: as of 2011, 33 percent of its board directors are women. While the company did not explicitly set out to increase the number of women on its board, ALLETE's commitment during the search process to finding exceptionally qualified nominees, and the resultant jump in the proportion of women board members, helps subvert the frequent complaint that there are not enough qualified women to serve on corporate boards of directors.