Quotas can close the gender gap in the board room

The number of women sitting on corporate boards in the U.S. consistently hovers around 10 percent – a number that [...]

November 29 2011 by ChiefExecutive.net


The number of women sitting on corporate boards in the U.S. consistently hovers around 10 percent – a number that it not representative of the number of women in the workforce.  This isn’t a new issue and isn’t an issue unique to the U.S. Some other countries, however, have taken a legal route in balancing the numbers: quotas.

Columbia Business School’s Ideas@Work has taken on the issue of legal quotas to close the gender gap on corporate boards.  It worked in Norway, but would it work in the U.S.?

According to the research, yes. Columbia says, “analysis shows that even low quotas can result in substantial power for female directors and that this can be self-sustaining over time.”

Read: Can Quotas Bring Equity to the Boardroom?