Gender representation on corporate boards of directors refers to the proportion of men and women who occupy board member positions. To measure gender diversity on corporate boards, studies often use the percentage of women holding corporate board seats and the percentage of companies with at least one woman on their board. Globally, men occupy more board seats than women. Indeed, in 2015, women held 17.9% of the board seats on Fortune 1000 companies.
The reasons behind the disproportionate gender ratio of directors is a subject of much debate. A survey of more than 4000 directors found that male directors over the age of 55 cited a lack of qualified female candidates as the main reason behind the stagnant number of female directors. In contrast, in the same study, female directors and younger male directors considered the male-dominated networking that often led to the appointment of directors to be the reason behind women's slow progress.
Given that gender diversity on boards is an issue rooted in the principle of equality of treatment, inequality in gender representation on boards can be combatted through equality of opportunity reforms or equality of outcome reforms. Governments and corporations have attempted to address the disproportionality of gender representation on corporate boards through both types of measures, including legislation mandating gender quotas (a reform based on the principle of equality of outcome) and comply or explain guidelines (a reform based on the principle of equality of opportunity).
To find what percentage of a company's board of directors are women, look for the details on a company's website or in their sustainability or annual reports. Companies may report the number of women and number of men (and then you will need to calculate the percentage).
For US companies, you can check the 2020 Women on Boards company directory.
If you cannot find the data, answer "Unknown".
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