A recent study has shown that women find it more important than men to have diversity in corporate boardrooms. The study was conducted by PriceWaterhouseCooper.
According to the results, 63% of women serving on corporate boards believe that having female members serving on the board is “very important”. Meanwhile, only 35% of men felt the same way.
However, the results were less favorable toward racial diversity than they were towards gender diversity. Only 46% of women and 27% of men stated that it was “very important” to have ethnic minorities serving on company boards.
Female board members were also more likely than men to express the benefits of diversity. Twice as many women than men agreed with the statement that diversity makes company boards more effective, while pushing companies to improve their performance.
Men and women also disagreed in terms of perceived opportunities for improving board member diversity. While 46% of female board members said that there are a large number of female or minority candidates for board positions to choose from, only 18% of males agreed with the same statement.
Meanwhile, new board members were also more supportive of diversity than their veteran counterparts. Board members who had been serving in their current position for less than one year “very much” agreed with the idea that diversity is crucial to company success 62% of the time. This was only true for 39% of board members who had been serving on their company’s board for 10 or more years.
Another note is that 40% of board members believe that someone on their board should be fired, and they cited “diminished performance from aging” as the most common reason.
According to advocacy group Catalyst, women currently represent roughly 20% of all board seats of the 500 companies listed in the stock index of Standard & Poor.
More than 700 board members participated in the survey.