Do Female CEOs Mean More Female Directors?

The push for board room diversity has been an important topic for a while, but a new Wall St. Journal report shows one possible path towards ensuring that a greater percentage of directors are women: Hire a female CEOs.

MK-CQ699_WOMEN_16U_20141111140606The piece states: “About 54% of the 67 concerns in the Standard & Poor’s 1500 Index with a female CEO now have at least three women in the boardroom. That is a far higher proportion than the 15.5% of such firms led by a man, concludes an analysis for The Wall Street Journal by governance researchers at MSCI Inc. Women comprise 15.8% of S&P 1500 boards, up slightly from 12.5% in 2009, it found.”

The trend also apparently will increase north of the U.S. border, as next month new Canadian securities rules “will require listed companies to disclose targets for leadership diversity,” Bloomberg reports.

As a result, according to the report, “Canadian businesses are rushing to add female directors, especially in the resource sector. The fact that not many women have engineering experience doesn’t explain the dearth on energy boards.”

Might it work? Interesting data might be found in Australia: “One precedent is encouraging. Similar principles adopted in Australia in 2010 helped increase the proportion of female directors of companies in the S&P/ASX 200 index to 17 percent currently from about 8.2 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

Finally, Fortune reports on a new study: “Women occupy just 16.9% of Fortune 500 corporate board seats today, and progress has been slow. A new report from the Committee for Economic Development outlines how we can increase the rate of change.” To provide context, “in the last decade, that percentage has grown by just 3.3%.”

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