As part of our ongoing efforts to advance gender diversity in senior corporate governance, we issue a biennial report on the number of women serving on boards and in top management of publicly traded companies in New Jersey. This report, developed in partnership with PwC, is the only one of its kind in the state.

Please find below a summary of some of the important findings from our 2015 report or click below to read the full report.

2015 Report

Key Statistics

  • Of 942 board seats in 99 companies, 141, or 15%, were held by women. This is an increase over 2013, when women in these companies held only 13.7% of seats.
  • The 18 NJ Fortune 500 companies within the NJ Russell 3000 did slightly better, with 45 of 202 board seat, or 22.3% filled by women. This is an increase over 2013, when women in these companies held 18.9% of board seats.
  • 25 of the NJ companies in the Russell 3000, or 25%, had no women directors. In 2013, this was true of 30%.
  • All of the 18 NJ Fortune 500 companies within the Russell 3000 had at least one woman director; one company had no women directors in 2013.

Why Gender Diversity Matters

  • Companies with at least one woman director had better share price performance than those companies without women for the last 6 years.
  • The Credit Suisse report compared companies with less than 10% women in senior management to those with 15% or more and found a 52% higher return on equity and a 22% higher ratio of dividend payout for companies with more women in the ranks of senior managers.
  • The appointment of women-directors is associated with earlier adoptions of practices such as director training, board evaluations, and director succession planning structures.

Recommendations for Change

  • Companies must commit to including at least one woman for consideration on every slate.
  • Boards should utilize a skill set inventory to identify gaps in knowledge not covered by existing members.
  • Boards should consider the use of professional search firms as a way to create diverse pools of candidates.
  • Board directors should identify senior and mid-level women in their companies who have the potential to serve as board directors.
  • Women candidates should prepare for board roles in large public companies by seeking opportunities to gain exposure and experience in targeted non-profits and smaller companies

This summary represents only a small fraction of the compelling information and enlightening statistics EWNJ uncovers in this year’s report.