Stalled: Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards
8 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2011
In this essay, prepared for the University of Dayton College of Law’s Symposium on Perspectives on Gender and Business Ethics: Women in Corporate Governance, held on February 25, 2011, I discuss the lack of progress in achieving gender diversity on corporate boards.
I first review the numbers that demonstrate that progress is stalled, despite the attention and resources devoted to the issue by a number of well-respected organizations, legal scholars and institutional investors. I argue that, because this is an issue of equal opportunity, it is not really necessary to make a business case to justify increased efforts toward board diversity.
I then look at government initiatives, or lack thereof, in three areas: NYSE Corporate Governance Standards, SEC Proxy Disclosure Enhancement Amendments, and the TARP bailouts. I conclude that the government is unlikely to lead efforts for change and that institutional investors should assert leadership. This is a slog to equality.
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