Paul Hastings Report Examines Initiatives to Increase Women on Corporate Boards
Washington, DC (September 19, 2012) - An increasing variety of creative approaches by government, non-profit and industry groups have been used to increase the number of women on corporate boards, according to the report,
"The issue of gender parity on corporate boards is gaining increasing attention and priority in a number of countries. In some, work must first be done to establish stronger rights for women and challenge historical societal norms," Paul Hastings Litigation partner
Key findings of the report include:
The European Union launched a number of initiatives to encourage gender diversity on corporate boards and has called on companies listed in the European Union to introduce specific measures to enhance representation of women on boards by March 2012. Thus far, the proportion of women serving on corporate boards in Frances CAC 40 listed companies increased from 15 percent in 2010 to 23.5 percent in June 2012 following a new quota.
The United States and Canada have had marginal growth in the number of women board members. The growth is largely driven by the efforts of investor and advocacy groups. Thus far, the federal government and regulatory bodies do not appear inclined to take more assertive steps to increase diversity.
Australia has reported a dramatic increase in womens representation on boards due to corporate governance code amendments that impose disclosure requirements for all listed companies.
South American countries such as Argentina and Brazil are taking preliminary steps to address gender parity on corporate boards, through legislation and case law.
With the exception of the Philippines and South Africa, the percentage of women on corporate boards is low in Asia and Africa; however, governments have initiated specific legislation to increase gender equality in boardrooms.
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