New! 2015 Catalyst Census: Women and Men Board Directors
The 2015 Catalyst Census and its findings outlining the current status of women and men occupying board seats at S&P 500 companies indicate that there has been little progress made toward gender diversity at the board level, and in the pipeline of women executives in the United States.
The Catalyst Census was presented to the public on June 14, 2016, at the United State of Women Summit. This event, hosted by the White House, brought women together to celebrate past achievements and call attention to opportunities to take action by addressing key gender equality issues. Catalyst President and CEO Deborah Gillis was a featured speaker.
Gender Diversity on Boards in Canada: Recommendations for Accelerating Progress
Canada continues to lag behind other developed nations when it comes to women on boards. The Government of Ontario has championed “comply or explain” securities law rule amendments to increase representation of women on boards and in executive officer positions. Read Catalyst’s new report, commissioned by the Government of Ontario, to see our recommendations for advancing gender equity and best practices for accelerating women to boards.
Catalyst Proudly Announces Women On BoardTM Program Expansion to the United States
Catalyst proudly announced the launch of the inaugural class of Catalyst’s Women On BoardTM program in the United States. The program pairs CEO/board chairs with CEO-endorsed board candidates. These highly respected corporate and board leaders serve as mentors and sponsors for senior executive women board candidates. Founded in Canada in 2007, more than 50% of Catalyst Women On Board™ alumnae have been appointed to corporate boards. The US class expects to build upon this success. Class formation is currently underway for the second US class of Catalyst Women On Board™.
Mayor Bill DeBlasio Signs Diversity Disclosure Bill for New York City
New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio recently signed a diversity disclosure bill enacted by the New York City Council that will lead to increased transparency of the gender, ethnic, and racial makeups of boards and executives of city-contracted businesses. The legislation entails the creation and distribution of a voluntary survey by the Department of Small Business Services to all prospective city contractors. These actions will serve to attain more equity for women by creating transparency and opportunity, as well as diversity, in businesses’ leadership. Catalyst received a proclamation from the New York City Council for providing advice and recommendations on the bill and promoting the advancement and equality of women in the workplace. The endeavor was conducted in partnership with 2020WOB, PowHer, DirectWomen, and the 30% Coalition.
Catalyst President and CEO Deborah Gillis stated, "We applaud City Council Members Crowley and Mealey for their leadership and dedication to bringing forth legislation to increase representation of women on boards, which is not just good for New York City businesses, but for our greater society."
Tech Companies and Parity in Boardrooms
Parity and diversity—including on boards—remain prominent topics among Silicon Valley firms and others in the technology sector. Across S&P 500 boards, the technology sector still lags other industries on female representation, according to a recent study by Equilar. In 2014, just 18.3% of board seats at tech companies were held by women, up from about 14% in 2010. Brande Stellings of Catalyst’s Corporate Board Services was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle on the importance of continuously working toward the goal of gender parity in boardrooms in the technology sector specifically. “There is a danger in companies thinking, OK, we have women now, so we’re done,” Stellings said. “Companies should all have a goal of about 30%, but that is by no means a stopping point. It’s just a stop along the way to eventual parity.”
Boardlist—An Initiative for Women and Tech Start-Up Boards
For technology start-up boards, only about 22% to 25% of private tech boards include any women. These discrepancies exist across the tech sector, although they are particularly stark within technology start-ups, where women are profoundly absent from boardrooms. An entity working toward fostering diversity and inclusion for women on board is Boardlist, a database containing more than 1,000 tech women candidates for seats on start-up boards.
Watch for upcoming announcements about Catalyst Women On Board™’s newest lineup of board candidates and their board sponsors in Canada.