May 19, 2015
by Mercy Investment Services staff
Sisters of Mercy work for equality of women, celebrating their contributions, advocating for their rights and speaking out against gender discrimination.
Glacial: that’s how participants at a board diversity summit in 2011 described the progress on increasing the number of women on U.S. corporate boards.
To address this lack of diversity, business leaders, investors, corporate governance experts and others formed the Thirty Percent Coalition. To close the gap between the number of women and men serving in these key leadership roles on U.S. corporate boards, the Thirty Percent Coalition aims to have women compose at least 30 percent of the board members at U.S.-based publicly listed companies by the end of the year.
Why 30 percent? At the time of the summit, the number had been nearly stagnant for five years—less than 15 percent. Additionally, a number of European governments have moved toward mandating or recommending that women compose 30 percent of the board.
Shareholders are actively using their voice to make this happen, with moderate progress. For example, in 2014, women held 19 percent of board seats at S&P 500 companies. Twenty-seven percent of S&P 500 boards have one female director. The Thirty Percent Coalition has been contacting companies in both the S&P 500 and Russell 1000 to help them increase their diversity. See the Catalyst report for more information. Read More