Early stage companies tend to be innovative, entrepreneurial and willing to take risks. The founders of these companies often view a corporate Board as the construct that comes in to stall their innovative spirit; the equivalent of your parents accompanying you on your first date.
Activist proposals have long been viewed as something to resist, even fear, but a new strain of thinking has become part of the debate. Boards are now looking at activist themes to inspire their own actions – as both an offense and defense strategy.
Boards can’t just add one woman and expect real change in the way they operate. You need at least three female directors, a critical mass that Egon Zehnder calls the “magic number” in its 2018 Global Board Diversity Tracker. With at least two female colleagues, women are more likely to speak up and be heard.
The Belgian tech startup landscape is still predominantly controlled by men. In 86% of the capital rounds implemented this year, no women were on boards. Three quarters of board positions still go to men according to a global study by leadership consultancy Egon Zehnder.
While some progress has been made, the vast majority of board positions still go to men. Gender equality on boards will never be achieved if the current appointment rates continue, a report by Egon Zehnder has found.
Egon Zehnder conducted a global study of board and senior executive roles at 1,610 public companies. It found that just over one in five board seats were occupied by women, but more than seven in 10 new positions were going to men.