- 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.