Improving Board Diversity

Improving Board Diversity

by Barbara Blackford

Board diversity in the United States has remained relatively unchanged, despite a variety of developments affecting United States public companies, including an increased emphasis on business justifications for diversity and increased disclosure requirements related to diversity,  according to a recent Director Note entitled Revisiting Justifications for Board Diversity published by The Conference Board.   The Director Note also reports, however, that the existence of an outlined strategy for implementing a diversity initiative was an important factor in the overall success of such an initiative, according to one study.

To assist companies seeking to increase gender diversity of their boards, The Conference Board announced this week the release of an innovative scenario modeler developed by The Conference Board and Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business in partnership with The SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University.  The model draws on historical data from 2,749 U.S. public companies to examine the evolution of gender diversity on U.S. corporate boards each year between 2011 and 2040. The interactive model allows users to adjust board characteristics to assess how departures from today's prevailing corporate governance trends could accelerate or impede the progress toward greater gender parity in coming decades.

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