Story image

4% of CEOs & board chairs are women - Diversity, still a problem for corporate boards

07 Jun 17

The fifth edition of Deloitte Global’s Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective publication was released last night and the results are troubling.

The research shows that women are still largely under-represented on corporate boards worldwide. The publication explores the efforts of promoting gender diversity in the boardroom across 64 countries.

Women hold just 15% of board seats worldwide with 85% of boardroom seats occupied by men. However, the research claims these numbers show a modest progress from the 2015 edition of the report.

Peter Gulliver, Deloitte New Zealand partner, says that for the first time, the publication includes a region-by-region analysis of the relationship between corporate leadership and diversity.

Gulliver says that as the number of female CEOs and board chairs climb, the percentage of women securing top leadership roles is very low, with women holding only 4% of CEO and board chair positions globally.

The Women in the Boardroom report includes a small sample (18) of New Zealand companies.

The research shows that in New Zealand 28% of board seats and only 11% of board chairs are held by women.

None of the companies analysed have female CEOs.

“The New Zealand Census of Women on Boards 2017, published last month by AUT professors Judy McGregor and Stevie Davis-Tana, shows that the number of women on the boards of NZX top 100 companies has climbed above 20% for the first time, with over 22% of board members now women,” continues Gulliver.

According to AUT, the number of female board chairs and CEOs of the top 100 companies have not changed since 2012; the numbers remain at seven and three respectively, says Gulliver.

“Given the correlation between women leaders and female board representation, these last two statistics, along with the fact that none of the Kiwi companies analysed for Women in the Boardroom have a woman CEO, are particularly concerning,” he adds.

Gulliver concludes, “bridging the gender divide in the workforce is not only a matter of fairness, but also of effective governance and inclusive economic growth.”

Additional findings from the research include:

Boardrooms across the Americas are not highly gender diverse

In the US and Canada, only 14 and 18% of board seats respectively are held by women. The percentage of female board chairs has not progressed, remaining at under 4% in the US and dropping to 5% in Canada.

In Latin and South America overall, only 7% of board seats are held by women and 2% of board chairs are women.

Progress across Europe varies

Norway, the first country to ever introduce a gender quota, has the highest percentage of board seats held by women (42%), although only 7% of board chair positions are held by women.

In the UK, 20% of board seats and 3% of board chair positions are held by women. 

Asia lags behind other regions

At 8%, gender diversity in some of Asia’s leading economies is the lowest compared to other parts of the world.

Dimension Data nabs three Cisco partner awards
Cisco announced the awards, including APJ Partner of the Year, at a global awards reception during its annual partner conference.
WatchGuard’s eight (terrifying) 2019 security predictions
The next evolution of ransomware, escalating nation-state attacks, biometric hacking, Wi-Fi protocol security, and Die Hard fiction becomes reality.
Rimini Street hits NZ shores with new subsidiary
The third-party support provider for Oracle and SAP has opened a new Auckland-based office and appointed Sean Jones as NZ senior account executive.
Why the adoption of SAP is growing among SMEs
Small and medium scale enterprises are emerging as lucrative end users for SAP.
Exclusive: How the separation of Amazon and AWS could affect the cloud market
"Amazon Web Services is one of the rare companies that can be a market leader but remain ruthlessly innovative and agile."
HPE extends cloud-based AI tool InfoSight to servers
HPE asserts it is a big deal as the system can drive down operating costs, plug disruptive performance gaps, and free up time to allow IT staff to innovate.
Digital Realty opens new AU data centre – and announces another one
On the day that Digital Realty cut the ribbon for its new Sydney data centre, it revealed that it will soon begin developing another one.
A roadmap to AI project success
Five keys preparation tasks, and eight implementation elements to keep in mind when developing and implementing an AI service.