Every Other One: More Women on Corporate Boards

CED’s newest paper, “Every Other One: More Women on Corporate Boards” updates CED’s 2012 Policy Paper, “Fulfilling the Promise:How More Women on Corporate Boards Would Make America and American Companies More Competitive,” which urged companies to expand opportunities for women and make it a priority to develop the talents and advance the careers of female staff who have been identified as potential leaders.

Today, women occupy 16.9% of Fortune 500 corporate board seats, according to the Catalyst 2013 Board Census. Progress has been made, but the rate of change has been slow. Moreover, that percentage has grown only 3.3 % points (from 13.6% to 16.9%) in the last decade, despite women’s proportionately larger presence in the labor force and higher education enrollment.

In this paper, CED outlines its plan for direct outreach to the nominating committees of prominent corporate boards and includes recommendations for expanding the criteria of qualified female board members

CED’s position includes:
• Voluntary Goal Setting and Disclosure
• Expanding the Criteria for Directors
• Expanding that Source of Women Board Members
• Having Direct Contacts Supplement Existing Programs

If prominent corporations adopt a target of recruiting women in one of every two board seat openings due to normal retirements and existing female seats are retained, CED believes that 30 percent participation would likely occur by 2018.

A list of initial sponsors to the "Every Other One" initiative can be viewed here.

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