Most people probably don’t give a lot of thought to the number of appointed female board members in relation to their male counterparts, but you may be interested to learn that board dynamics are changing.
In 2013, a New York Time’s reporter named Claire Cain Miller posed the question to Twitter on why the company’s board of directors was comprised of only males. Of course, Twitter seemed somewhat surprised by the question since it has always viewed itself as an innovative, enlightened company that didn’t seem to follow the traditional business model.
Between January 1, 2013 and July 1,2016, a study was conducted by Redfin, a national real estate brokerage. They looked at the remaining 100 technology companies to go public and analyzed the gender ratio of appointed board members. In addition to board members, check out these employment tips for women in technology.
The study found that 80% of the 381 appointments were indeed males. In 2013, this percentage roughly equates to one woman being appointed to a board for every six men. However, over the following three years, the ratio moved closer to one woman being appointed for every two men.
Why Does this Matter?
If you don’t involve yourself with the workings of technology boards, you may ask yourself why should I care? First, let’s review some ways that board members can influence a business. Boards are responsible for determining executive salaries, hiring CEOs, approving executive promotions, and investigating complaints of discrimination among high level employees.
Bringing diversity into a business is always beneficial to the company and their employees. New ideas and perspectives are generated and issues are looked at in different ways including through gender and ethnicity viewpoints.
Although women are being appointed to boards at higher rates, the female gender will undoubtedly remain the minority in most board rooms. It is exciting to think that the rise in diverse appointments could define a new generation of businesses in broad, inclusive ways.
Are Women More Qualified?
It is hard to imagine that the improved qualifications of women for board appointments has resulted in the substantial increase in board seats over a three-year period. Perhaps, women were already qualified but the board’s search process was flawed.
As we have recently witnessed, sometimes a woman’s qualifications just don’t seem to matter. I hope the days of dismissing women and minorities based on the sentiment that there is a lack of qualified candidates are over and we being to recognize a person’s worth regardless of their gender or ethnicity.
Women are Ready to Take Their Seat
Women don’t want to be hired or appointed to boards because they are female, and they certainly aren’t expecting any preferential treatment. If it takes a few more articles and journalism reporting to increase the number of women on boards, then I am all for it.
It is encouraging to think that some of our more enlightened companies are leading the way to increased diversity among board members. It is easy to fall into the status quo and until someone comes along to highlight the disparities, things will remain as they are. Diversity is what makes America great and will make our businesses even better in the future.