The latest Ernst & Young study on board composition shows that if you added up the number of S&P 1500 (i.e. the companies in the Standard & Poors 1500 stock index) directors with one of those names, that number would be higher than the total number of women directors for those same 1500 companies.
Overall, the news E&Y report is actually not that bad. They report 3 findings:
- The bigger the board, the more likely there is a female director on it.
- Female directors tend to have different career backgrounds and credentials than male directors. They are younger, are more likely to serve on multiple boards and are less likely to be CEOs.
- Gender diversity on boards is moving in the right direction, albeit very slowly
Maybe there are a hugely disproportionate number of men named “James”, “Robert”, “William” or “James” in the world. I’d bet you there are, actually. But even if that’s the case, as E&Y’s Chief Diversity Officer put it,
“The pace of change is absolutely glacial…The idea that we can essentially pick out four common men’s names, at random, and find this shows there’s a long way to go.”
We couldn’t agree more.