The Damaging Myth Perpetuated by Male Leaders and Why They're Wrong

The Damaging Myth Perpetuated by Male Leaders and Why They're Wrong

Peter T. Grauer is Chairman of Bloomberg L.P. and Founding Chairman of the U.S. 30% Club
Friday, November 11, 2016 - 4:35pm

CAMPAIGN: Bloomberg: Global Diversity & Inclusion

CONTENT: Article

Originally posted on Forbes.

Peter T. Grauer

One of the most persistent, destructive myths stalling progress towards gender parity in the boardroom is a belief — held primarily by male directors — that there simply aren’t enough board-qualified women to fill available seats.

The data tells us this simply isn’t true. A recent study looked at more than 8,500 females at the executive committee level of public U.S. companies: women with some of the most sought-after backgrounds and experiences for corporate directorships. Yet just 14% of these women are currently serving as board members and only 21% have experience as a director. Examining a smaller pool of females with CFO/financial executive experience — the second most commonly desired background for board members — reveals that fewer than 24% have served on a board. The numbers are similar across females in traditionally valued leadership roles like operations as well as those in technology and marketing, two increasingly desired skill sets in today’s boardrooms.

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