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Quartz – Company boards need at least three women before they truly begin to change

  • December 2018

Egon Zehnder's 2018 Global Board Diversity Tracker cites a specific number of women needed to join a board before change is felt: Three.

Companies have heard the message that gender diversity will help both their image and their business. But while progress is being made, especially at the board level, Egon Zehnder’s 2018 Global Board Diversity Tracker points out that companies need to go beyond the token appointment of one or two women to their boards before any positive impact is felt. The research suggests that once three or more women join a board, a critical mass is reached whereby women are both more likely to speak and be listened to.

In their latest research, Egon Zehnder analyzed boardroom appointments from 1,610 public companies in 44 countries. In 13 of those countries, company boards had an average of three women or more on their boards. France was the leader, with women comprising 42% of board members at the country’s biggest companies. Saudi Arabia came in last, with just 1%.

Egon Zehnder’s report suggests that moving forward, companies should commit to a less rote way of making appointments to their boards. This includes identifying potential members who may not have the perfect CV, but rather four traits: curiosity, insight, determination, and engagement.

Full Story: Company boards need at least three women before they truly begin to change. By Cassie Werber. 11, December 2018

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