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Ernst & Young: Women are joining US corporate boards

By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com

New research about women on US corporate boards shows that women are joining boards at a higher rate and that boards that already have at least one female director are most likely to add more. Of the more than 1,800 directorships currently held by women, nearly 40% joined their respective boards in the last five years. These are welcome trends, as research indicates that companies with more women on their boards outperform those with fewer or no female directors. And yet, to be globally competitive and strengthen board performance and effectiveness, US companies must do a better job of prioritizing board diversity, including putting women in the boardroom.

Greatest increases in gender diversity occurred among already diverse boards. Companies with women already on their boards were more likely to add another female to the mix: over 30% of companies added at least one female director to their boards since 2006, and, of those, about 60% already had at least one woman serving.

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