Friday, March 27, 2020
Confronting and Debunking the Common Reasons Given for Slow Progress for Gender Equity in Corporate Leadership
Kellye Testy, From Governess to Governance: Advancing Gender Equity in Corporate Leadership, 87 G.W. Law Rev. 1095 (2019)
Even as corporate influence on every aspect of life continues to grow, women (overall, and especially women of color) remain woefully underrepresented in corporate governance roles, particularly on boards of directors. This lack of gender diversity in the corporate boardroom is prevalent not only in more established companies but also persists — often at even higher levels — in new ventures as well. This Essay details the persistent lack of progress over more than a half century in diversifying leadership in corporate governance. This progress is especially concerning given that the benefits of diversity for sound decision-making and overall corporate welfare have been established empirically, putting into question whether those boards that fall short on gender equity are meeting their fiduciary duties of good governance. The Essay confronts and debunks the common reasons given for slow progress and outlines specific steps that corporate boards and others seeking to improve gender equity in corporate governance can deploy to make faster and more consistent progress.
This Essay is part of the George Washington Law Review's 2018 symposium, Women and Corporate Governance: A Conference Exploring the Role and Impact of Women in the Governance of Public Corporations.