California is leading the way with the 2020 campaign, actively encourage companies to increase the presence of women on boards by the order of 20% by 2020. Managers do not need to wait for state or federal laws or initiatives to increase women leaders in their firms and promote qualified women to senior roles. The campaign redefines successful corporate governance, gender diversity standards, and creates a cultural imperative for corporate action.
We believe that diversity of thought is essential to good corporate governance and that corporate boards of directors should reflect company stakeholders: their customers, employees, and shareholders. The best boards harvest diverse experience, skills, and perspective to obtain optimal decisions. These boards create better shareholder value.
2020 Women on Boards is guided by the following principles:
- We are inclusive. We practice what we preach.
- We are passionate. We do this work because we believe in its value to society. We arrive at our views through study, analysis, and life experience.
- We are focused. We embrace all forms of diversity, but our focus is women.
- We are change agents. We do not promote “business as usual.”
- We are advocates. We advocate vigorously and responsively on this issue.
- We are respectful. We hold to our principles but listen to and learn from other viewpoints.
- We are urgent in our activities. We will meet – and exceed our goal.
- We are educators. Our mission will be achieved by equipping others with knowledge, information, and inspiration.
- We are ethical. We set a high bar for ourselves and expect it from our associates.
- We are believers. Together we can make it happen!
The 2020 Gender Diversity Directory is an extensive database of public and private companies that includes information about board composition. It’s easy to join the campaign by registering your support of 2020 Women on Boards.
In their mid-year report, Boardroom Diversity: When Women Lead, 2020 Women on Boards looked at the status of women on the boards of Fortune 1000 companies led by women. Not surprisingly, boards with female CEOs, Board Chairs and Nominating Chairs are significantly more gender diverse than boards with male leadership.
Compared to their male counterparts, women CEOs, Board Chairs and Nominating Chairs are much more likely to oversee gender diverse boards, exceeding the national average of 17.9 percent. Female CEOs, Board Chairs, and Nominating Chairs have an average of 30.0%, 27.7%, and 23.1% women on their boards, respectively, while men in these positions trail at 17.3%, 17.6% and 17.2% women.
Admittedly, far fewer companies in the Fortune 1000 are led by women: 49 companies have women CEOs, 37 have female Board Chairs and 158 have female Nominating Chairs. But the writing is on the wall: want to see diverse boards? Put a woman in charge!