Closing the Gender Gap: Global Perspectives on Women in the Boardroom
Thursday, September 16, 2010
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW
The SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations hosted a day-long conference on Thursday, September 16, 2010, to examine (1) the legislative, regulatory, and market-based strategies that have been launched in a growing number of countries to close the gender gap on the boards of publicly traded companies; and (2) the impact of diversity initiatives on corporate performance. While women have made major strides in business and education, the percentage of female board members in many countries remains in the single digits. Increasingly, foreign governments and stock exchanges are using a variety of approaches to accelerate the pace of change.
The conference brought together domestic and international participants, including government officials, academics, corporate executives, institutional investors and advisors, stock exchange executives, and associations of women directors. Among the featured speakers were SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar and Intel Corporation Board Chair Jane Shaw. We examined:
- The social, legal, political and economic forces driving legislation or other remedial action;
- Country case studies (e.g., Norway, France, United Kingdom, Australia, and Spain), exemplifying a variety of approaches designed to achieve gender balance on boards;
- Research on the economic argument for closing the gender gap on boards, and studies measuring the impact of remedial efforts on corporate performance; and
- Best practices for increasing gender diversity among corporate directors and top executives.
Click below for conference information:
- Full Agenda
- Keynote addresses from Luis Aguilar, commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Renée Jones-Bos, Dutch ambassador to the United States; and Jane Shaw, chair of the board of Intel Corporation
- Written remarks by Finnish Ambassador Pekka Lintu at the conference opening dinner
- Overview of current initiatives around the world to increase women on boards by the Deloitte Global Center for Corporate Governance
- Women on Boards: A Statistical Review by Country, Supersector and Sector by GovernanceMetrics International
- Women and Board Diversity: An Annotated Reference Guide by the International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Partnering Organizations: Corporate Women Directors International, EPWN – European Professional Women’s Network, WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD), ION, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and Women’s Foreign Policy Group.