Few women sit on public companies' boards

| Print |  Email
Articles - November 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
1111_NoSeatAtTheTable_03
Judith Johansen, president of Marylhurst University, serves on the boards of four companies, including the Idaho Power Company and Roseburg Forest Products.
// Photo by Matthew D'Annunzio
Gender disparity in the boardroom is an issue that extends far beyond the Oregon border. Nationwide, only 15% of board members in Fortune 500 companies are women. In the European Union, 9.7% of board members in the top 300 companies are women. Women make up about 12.5% of directors at the 100 largest publicly traded companies in the U.K., and many companies have never had a woman on the board.

Concerns about board diversity are also unfolding at a time when the responsibilities of directors are becoming more demanding. Corporate cataclysms ranging from the collapse of Enron to the 2008 financial crisis have increased pressure on boards to hold CEOs accountable to shareholders, business experts say.

“Regulation has gone through the roof,” says Dyess, referring to the hundreds of pages of quarterly and annual reports she is responsible for. “Particularly in today’s world, you’re putting yourself on the line.”

The pressures of the job are making it more difficult to find male or female candidates willing to serve. But heightened board scrutiny is just one of many reasons why so few women serve on corporate boards, Dyess and other female board members say. “The problem is there is not a pipeline of women who are coming up and making it into the C-suite: CEOs or CFOs,” says Judith Johansen, president of Marylhurst University and a director on Schnitzer Steel’s and Bank of Cascades’ boards. Johansen, a former president and CEO of PacificCorp, adds that boards prefer CEOs as directors because they know what it’s like to be in the CEO’s chair.

“Having senior experience with your own boards raises the bar in terms of board performance,” she says.

 



 

More Articles

Efficiency Boost

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

How conservation stimulates the local economy.


Read more...

Downtime with John Helmick

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play: CEO of Gorilla Capital.


Read more...

Green workplace 2.0

Linda Baker
Thursday, May 28, 2015
IMG 2808BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Reinventing capitalism. Office dumpster divers. Handprints versus carbon footprints.


Read more...

No Boundaries

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Floor plans embrace the great wide open.


Read more...

Apartment Mania

Guest Blog
Thursday, June 18, 2015
4805983977 11466ce1d6 zBY BRAD HOULE | CFA

While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.


Read more...

The 5 highest revenue-generating parks in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, June 11, 2015
parksthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.


Read more...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


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