An interesting comment from the Head of our Global Board practices Group:
The recent survey by Catalyst shows an increased focus on gender diversity on public company boards across the globe.
In the current economic climate -- for most countries, anyway – that does not require immediate turn-arounds or crisis management this is good news. Heterogenity is widely proven to be a stronger catalyst for both innovation and risk management (and thus ideal for growth scenarios), whereas homogenity in a team fosters fast decision-making and execution.
Nevertheless, companies around the world need to be more alert to the fact that pressure – in several countries in the form of direct legislation – for increased gender diversity is not going to go away. For this reason alone, I would advise all companies to make it a top priority to identify and attract the best qualified women to their boards. Several other studies on the subject over the years (notably from McKinsey & Co and Credit Suisse) suggest that there is quantifiable, positive impact to be found on a company's bottom line when there is representation from more than one woman on its board.
Whether for business reasons or because of regulation, no company today should neglect this issue. Consult with your trusted leadership advisor on how to move forward – and do it fast.