US Corporate Boards Accelerating Appointments Of Female Directors
After five years of slow but steady progress in the number of women serving as directors on the boards of Fortune 500 companies, the latest data shows a sharper increase in female directorship.
Research conducted by executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles shows that as of 2014, women now hold 20.2% of total Fortune 500 board seats – an increase from 18.7% in 2013 and 17.2% in 2009, when the research began.
"Corporations are bringing women onto their boards of directors in increasing numbers. That will result in greater diversity of thinking and, ultimately, better governance and wider-ranging strategic insights," said Bonnie Gwin, Vice Chairman and Managing Partner of Heidrick & Struggles' Board Practice in North America.
Driving the increased appointment of women on boards is a greater appreciation for the benefits of diverse insights, according to Ms Gwin. She said: "The trend today is clear. Board selection committees are becoming acutely aware that women are underrepresented in the boardroom and that the fresh perspectives they bring can be good for the bottom line."
With the latest data included, the trend of corporate board composition indicates women will hold 50% of Fortune 500 director seats for the first time in 2042.
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