By R. Christopher Small,
The Harvard’s blog on corporate governance wrote an article about the initiatives to place women on corporate BoDs.
You may have heard about the idea of quota system for women in Boards (France for example), but now in Austriala another program is considered : The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has adopted a “comply or explain” diversity disclosure requirement which emphasizes gender diversity.
“In the paper, Initiatives to Place Women on Corporate Boards of Directors, forthcoming in the Australian Corporate & Securities Law Review, I investigate initiatives to place women on corporate boards. In the United States, the representation of women on corporate boards of directors has been flat for 6 years now. By contrast, elsewhere around the world the topic is a hot button issue. This includes Australia where the proportion of board seats held by women has suddenly jumped from 8% in 2010 to nearly 14% today. The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) has adopted a “comply or explain” diversity disclosure requirement (for emphasis termed an “if not, why not” disclosure requirement), which emphasizes gender diversity. The requirement is even more stringent than the London Stock Exchange (LSX) comply or explain regulation adopted after the Lord Mervyn Davies Report on women in corporate governance appeared in February 2011. The Australian Institute of Company Directors also has instituted a mentoring/sponsorship program, the first of its kind in the world, designed to obtain board seats for women. This article reviews these Australian as well as global developments, including enactment of quota laws (especially Norway and France), certificate and pledge programs (“Rooney Rules”), and hard law disclosure requirements (United States).
As part of a study group which includes governance scholars from Norway, the UK, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, we interview women company directors, along with company chairpersons and representatives of adjective organizations interested in the subject of diversity on corporate boards of directors. Examples of adjective organizations who have undertaken efforts to place women on corporate boards are, in the U.S., Catalyst, Inc., or Women Corporate Directors (WCD), or in Australia, the Institute of Company Directors (AICD) or the Australian Business Council (ABC). The expected outcome of our study group endeavor is to describe how various women actually have attained elevation to corporate boards and senior management positions, as opposed to the anecdotal and other non-empirical accounts which have dominated the literature to date.
In 2010, at the New South Wales State Library in Sydney, the group interviewed 16 women who serve as directors of publicly held companies, 5 company chairmen, and 4 representatives from adjective organizations. A subsidiary goal is to repeat the process in several countries, developing a comparative as well as empirical model of pathways for women to corporate board seats.”
To read more : blog.law.havard.edu