In the News: Week Ending May 22

by Julie Graber | on 22 May 2020

ASX 300 boards: male and pale

“Male and pale” - that’s how some describe the boards of the ASX 300 based on a recent study of their current members. The description reflects the lack of cultural and gender diversity on these boards.

From a gender diversity standpoint:

  • 29 of the 300 listed companies have no women on their boards
  • Only 20 companies have boards where women are 50% or more of the directors
  • Less than half of the companies have achieved a critical mass where women hold 30% or more of the board seats.
The women who serve? Per usual, their qualifications exceed those of their male counterparts.
  • 7 per cent have PhDs (vs. 4% of the men)
  • 40 per cent have either an MBA or a masters degree (vs. 33% of men)
  • 89 per cent of women directors have an undergraduate degree (vs. 73% of the men).

Rooney Rule Changes

Recently adopted changes in the NFL’s Rooney Rule mean that teams will now be required to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching positions and at least one minority candidate for any coordinator vacancy.

The previous rule was at least one external minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operations positions. While the Rule has been given for encouraging the addition of minority coaches to the league (19 since 2003), research has shown that a single candidate who doesn’t fit the norm (not male and white in this case) among a pool of finalists has a statistically negligible chance of being selected (like 0%). Upping the number to two out-of-the-norm candidates significantly increase the likelihood of a non-majority candidate being selected. (Note: still no requirements re: gender diverse candidates).

Fortune 500 Female CEOs

Fortune recently updated their 500 list, including the list of female CEOs. There are 37 women at the helm currently, an all-time record of 7.4% of the total! (no one is really celebrating). There are three women of color but again no African American women in the CEO spot. Other than a short-term interim appointment last year, there have hasn’t been a black female CEO since Ursula Burns retired from Xerox (2017).

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