2015 Interesting Statistics

Men vs. Women

39 percent of women directors in the SV150 sit as the only director and 29 percent had no women directors – Kaye Scholer LLP

Like the Fortune 1000, more progress was made with the larger companies in Britain, but the FTSE 350 has had 550 new women appointed to boards in just over four years, and while there were 152 all-male boards in the FTSE 350 index in 2011, today there are only 15 companies with all-male boards (all in the FTSE 250). The FTSE 250 more than doubled the number of women on their boards, and there are 82 companies in the FTSE 250 with more than 25 percent of seats held by women. – Kaye Scholer LLP

It turns out that the prestige of cyber and technology means that men are now joining the ranks in much greater percentages while the number of women in those entry-level jobs has plummeted, according to Caroline Simard, senior director of research at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. –Bloomberg

Companies with more women on their boards have delivered a 36 per cent better return on equity since 2010 than those groups lacking board diversity, according to MSCI, the index provider.–Financial Times

MSCI examined the 1,643 companies that make up the MSCI World benchmark and found that groups with strong female leadership delivered a 10.1 per cent return on equity, compared with 7.4 per cent for those companies without. –Financial Times

Strong female leadership is defined by MSCI as those boards containing three or more women, or one with a female chief executive and at least one other female board member. –Financial Times

Slow Growth

The total percentage of women on the boards of S&P 500 companies has grown by only three percentage points over the past five years, from 16 percent to just 19 percent – Spencer Stuart

Nearly a third of all newly appointed directors in 2014 were women. They received 29 percent of the seats last year, up from 26 percent the year before and just 18 percent in 2009 – Heidrick & Struggles

Over the last five years, as data theft has risen to the top of corporate concerns, 16 of the largest U.S. companies have appointed one or more directors with cybersecurity credentials, 10 of them women. – Bloomberg

Chief information officer jobs are also being filled with more women than other executive roles. About 17 percent of CIOs at companies in the S&P 500 Index are women, compared with 13 percent for chief financial officers, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Less than 5 percent of CEOs in the index are women. –Bloomberg

The number of women running Fortune 500 companies fell in 2015—from 26 to 23. – Fortune

Nearly one-third of new Fortune 500 directors appointed in 2014 were women. And of the 5,415 board seats on America’s largest corporations, 1,057 (20%) of them are currently held by females—up 4% from February. – Fortune

Women’s representation on the FTSE 100 has more than doubled to 26 percent in October 2015 from 12.5 percent in February 2011, and there is no longer a single all-male board left in the FTSE 100, compared to 21 of these boards in 2011. –Kaye Scholer LLP

Women hold 17.9 percent of the board seats of the 2015 Fortune 1000 (out of 960 active companies), according to the 2020 study. Women only increased their percentage of board seats by one percent from 16.9 percent in 2014.  – Kaye Scholer LLP

The Spencer Stuart Report found that women represented 31 percent of new directors in 2015, compared to 30 percent in 2014 and only 21 percent in 2010. –Kaye Scholer LLP

PwCs’ 2015 Annual Corporate Directors Survey reports that nearly 40 percent of directors now say that “someone on their board should be replaced,” up from 31 percent three years ago. – Kaye Scholer LLP   – Kaye Scholer LLP

Forty-five percent of the 2015 Fortune 1000 companies had 20 percent or greater women on their board, while only nine percent had no women on their boards compared to 18 percent in 2011. – Kaye Scholer LLP

According to the Spencer Stuart Report, only three percent of S&P 500 board had no women members, and 73 percent of S&P 500 companies have two or more women directors on their board. – Kaye Scholer LLP

According to the 2020 study, of the 199 companies that joined 2015 Fortune 1000 since 2010, the percentage of board seats held by women was only 13.5 percent. Many companies go public without one woman on their board! Companies in the Fortune 501-1000 are adding women, but at a slower pace; among these companies, 648 women hold 17 percent of board seats, versus 20.1 percent of board seats held by 1,012 women in the Fortune 500. – Kaye Scholer LLP

Women board members represent only 13 percent of the directors in the SV150, according to the Lonergan Report, while representing 22 percent of the total new SV150 board appointees in 2014-15. Only a handful of SV150 companies have three or more non-CEO women directors. – Kaye Scholer LLP

If equal proportions of women + men joined boards each year beginning in 2015, GAO estimated that it could take more than four decades for women’s representation on boards to be on par with that of men’s –GAO

Board Composition & Member Profiles

While the pan­elists were careful to stress that every board is dif­ferent, they noted some gen­er­al­i­ties regarding com­mit­ment: Five to six board meet­ings a year as well as indi­vidual com­mittee meet­ings, some of which may involve travel, and about 400 pages of mate­rial to read before board-director meet­ings.  – Northeastern University

The turnover rate for board positions is low with only 6.7 percent of all seats turned over in 2014 – Heidrick & Struggle

According to the Lonergan Report, there were three or more nonexecutive directors with over 10 years of tenure on the board at 46 companies in the SV150.  – Kaye Scholer LLP

In Silicon Valley, a recent report by Lonergan Partners, Insights: Who Runs Silicon Valley? Board of Directors Edition notes that out of the SV150, 105 companies had at least one member who had filled the seat more than ten years and 27% of non-CEO seats were filled with directors with over ten years of service.   – Kaye Scholer LLP

Boards Need Diversity

Only 16% of S&P 1500 board seats are held by women- less than the proportion of seats held by directors named John, Robert, James, and William – EY

A study, called “Women in Business: The Value of Diversity,” looked at 1,050 businesses—200 in India, 350 in the UK, and 500 in the US—and compared the companies with at least one female executive board member with those run entirely by men. It found that the diverse boards had a higher return on assets, on average, than the male-only boards. – Quartz

A report by the McKinsey Global Institute that showed $28 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 if men and women contributed equally to the workforce. –Quartz

Of the 990 companies in three markets studied by Grant Thornton that had female board members, 127, or 13%, were employed as executives. – Quartz

The PwC study reported that “67% of mega-cap directors think diversity is ‘very important’ to board composition compared to only 31% of directors at micro-cap companies,” while “62% of directors with less than one year of board service ‘very much’ agree that having diversity on the board is important, compared to only 39% of directors who have tenure of greater than ten years.”  – Kaye Scholer LLP

According to the PwC study, female directors think that both gender and racial diversity is more important than their male counterparts, and women are much more likely to believe strongly that board diversity leads to enhanced board and company performance.  – Kaye Scholer LLP

Growth Opportunities for Boardrooms

Eighty per­cent of board seats are filled through net­working – Northeastern University

Last year, publicly-traded companies with all-male boards lost out on a total of $655 billion in potential profits across India, the UK and the US, research by Chicago, Illinois-based accountancy firm Grant Thornton found. – Quartz

Directors believe that their boards would make better decisions if the board was more open to debate. Over three quarters of the 345 female board director respondents to the survey agreed that their board “would reach better conclusions if they were more open to debate and argument,” and 93% said that succeeding as a board member requires receptivity to criticism. – Women Corporate Directors and Bright Enterprises Inc.

A recently released study by Grant Thornton reports that an analysis of the return-on-assets ratio for companies in each of the S&P 500, FTSE 350 and India-CNX 200 conducted in 2015 showed that, on average, companies with at least one female executive board member outperformed those with male-only boards. Indeed, the report concludes, “S&P 500 companies with diverse boards outperformed rivals by 1.91%.” – Kaye Scholer LLP

MSCI, looked at more than 4,000 public companies around the world and found those with boardrooms featuring “strong female leadership” saw a 36.4% greater return on equity since the study began in 2009: 10.1% vs. a 7.4% return for the companies with a more male-dominated leadership.  – Fortune

International Boardroom Statistics

Currently women make up less than 17 per cent of Nasdaq 100 boards in the US and just a quarter of FTSE 100 boards in the UK. –Financial Times

The Davies Report recommended a new voluntary target for women’s representation on FTSE 350 boards of a minimum of 33 percent to be achieved within the next five years, a goal that has been endorsed by the U.K. government.– Kaye Scholer LLP

The 2020 study shows in the Fortune 100, 22.3 percent of the board seats were held by women in October 2015, compared to 26 percent in the FTSE 100, and 19.7 percent for the Fortune 500, versus 19.6 percent for the FTSE 250. – Kaye Scholer LLP

MSCI also found that just over 15% of the board seats at companies it tracked worldwide were occupied by women as of 2015, and about 17% among U.S. companies. Based on current trends, MSCI predicts the global percentage of female board directors is unlikely to hit 30% until 2027. – Fortune

Annual Boardroom Survey Results

Highlights of the findings from the 2015 survey, “Criticism and Its Place in the Boardroom,” include:

  • Directors see direct link between the board’s effectiveness and how open the board is to argument and debate: 77% of respondents agree that their board would reach better conclusions if it were more open to debate and argument.
  • While criticism is highly valued by directors, many are not getting the training for it: 79% of directors feel that board members would benefit greatly from training in the giving and receiving of criticism, but 50% said that they have never received formal training on how to give criticism; 42% report no training on how to be a receptive receiver of criticism.
  • Criticism seen as a tool for change: 94% of board members believe that when criticism is used properly, it is a powerful influencer and motivator for bringing about change.
  • Criticism intended to hurt or be destructive may be waning in the workplace: Nearly 25% of respondents believe criticism intended to hurt is more prevalent now that it was 10 years ago, but more directors – nearly 38% – do not agree that it is more prevalent now.
  • Only just over half of directors believe that the CEO of their company takes criticism well: Looking to their relationship with the CEO, 53% of respondents said that the CEO of the company takes criticism well; 30% of directors disagreed and 17% were unsure.
  • Similar feedback on fellow directors: When asked if their fellow directors take criticism well, only about 50% agree; 33% are unsure.
  • More than one third have felt their critique of another director misinterpreted: 37% of directors can recall incidences where their criticism of another board member was misinterpreted as being accusatory or unjustly negative.

Most directors would like to de-personalize criticism from other directors: 62% of directors agreed or strongly agreed that their role as a board director would be positively impacted if they were better at not personalizing what others said. –Women Corporate Directors and Bright Enterprises Inc.