Slate reports on PwC’s 2016 Annual Corporate Directors Survey, and points out something important.
Much has been made over gender diversity on corporate boards in recent years. Study after study after study has shown that companies perform better when they have women on their boards of directors; it’s fair to assume that even the most crotchety, least woke board member would admit that gender diversity is an admirable goal, in theory.
Or is it? According to a new survey of 884 directors of public companies, 10 percent of current board members think the ideal number of women on a corporate board is somewhere between 20 percent of the board and zero. Zero! One in 10 directors mulled over the prospect of sharing a conference table with women and thought, “I could tolerate zero women, or maybe a very tiny proportion of women, but that is absolutely it.”
Every time the subject of women in corporate boards come up, there are always someone who claims that women have equal opportunity, and that there is no need for quotas or other measures to get more women into corporate boards. This study clearly shows that this is nonsense – there is an significant number of existing members of the boards that are actively against more women on the boards, so they form a barrier for women to join.
And don’t expect that corporate boards are swayed by evidence. As Slate stated, there are many studies that show that companies perform better when they have women on their boards of directors, but this doesn’t convince the male members
Given the weight of the evidence, the clear correct answers to the questions is “very much”, yet a majority of men doesn’t think this is the case.