Home Back Issues November 2011 Few women sit on public companies' boards

Few women sit on public companies' boards

| Print |  Email
Articles - November 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article Index
Few women sit on public companies' boards
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Companies with/without women on boards
1111_NoSeatAtTheTable_02
"I'd love to see more women pursue technical degrees," says Kirby Dyess, who serves on three corporate boards.
// Photo by Matthew D'Annunzio
Exactly how and why the presence of women on boards improves a company’s financial performance is difficult to pin down. The consensus seems to be that women bring a different perspective to the table, in part because of their status as outsiders, and that “the more types of thinking, the better decisions the board will make,” says Peggy Fowler, retired CEO of Portland General Electric and a director serving on the boards of PGE and Umpqua Holding Corp.

Companies also need more diverse boards for image purposes and to better understand the needs of an increasingly complex and diverse workforce and marketplace. “If you’re sitting on a board where the customer base or buyers are female, you’d have a very difficult time understanding your market with an all-male board,” says Kirby Dyess, principal of Austin Capital Management, a former Intel vice president and a member of PGE’s board of directors. She cited the utilities industry as an example of such a “diversified” sector.

Companies with a critical mass of female board members also tend to hire more female corporate officers than companies without women on the board. According to another Catalyst report, companies with at least 30% women board directors in 2001 had on average 45% more women corporate officers by 2006, compared to companies with no women board members. In both the financial performance and corporate officer reports, the key number of female directors appears to be three. “That’s the magic number where change actually happens,” says Boughton. Oregon’s women executives agree. “When you have more than two women on a board, there’s an additive effect; you have more confidence to speak out,” says Patricia Moss, chief executive and chair of the Bank of Cascades and one of three women who sit on the board of MDU Resources Group, a Fortune 500 company based in North Dakota.

Only four of the 46 public companies in Oregon have at least three women serving on their boards of directors: Nike, StanCorp, Albina Bank and Schnitzer Steel. There are only two companies with female chief executive officers — Schnitzer and Bank of the Cascades. Both  have at least one woman on their boards.



 

More Articles

Three problems with Obama's immigration order

News
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR112614-immigration-thumb

By now, anyone who knows about it has a position on President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The executive order is the outcome of failed attempts at getting a bill through the normal legislative process. Both Obama and his predecessor came close, but not close enough since the process broke down multiple times.


Read more...

A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE & KIM MOORE

Oregon Business reports on the visa squeeze, the skills gap and foreign-born residents who are revitalizing rural Oregon.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
22 twosidesBY JASON NORRIS

Historically, when the leaves fall, so do the markets. This year, earnings, Europe, energy and Ebola have in common? Beyond alliteration, they are four factors that the investors are pointing to for this year’s seasonal volatility.


Read more...

Innovation: a critique

News
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
1008 innovation thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A Design Week panel discussion raises questions about how innovative we really are.


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 11.17.21 AMMore than 5,500 employees from 180 organizations throughout the state participated in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon project.


Read more...

Gone Girl

News
Monday, September 29, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.


Read more...

Downtime

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS