Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

PWC’s 2018 Annual Corporate Directors Survey found that 84% of directors believe that diversity can enhance board performance and 95% agree that diversity can bring unique perspectives to the boardroom. The number of directors who rated women directors as “very important” has increased to 46%, from 25% in 2012.

Despite this progress, women still only hold 24% of board seats in S&P 500 companies even though they drive 70% to 80% of consumer spending and constitute 47% of the U.S. workforce. The survey also found signs of “diversity fatigue.” 48% of respondents think shareholders are too preoccupied with diversity and 52% believe diversity efforts are motivated by political correctness.

According to the survey, there are five recommended steps to improve the gender diversity of board of directors. These include:

  1. Reviewing the benefits of gender diversity,
  2. Having at least three female directors,
  3. Revising the criteria for hiring directors,
  4. Requiring a 50-50 slate in board seats and
  5. Expanding the size of the board to accommodate more women directors. Very few boards implement term limits and the usual mandatory retirement is 72 years old.

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