Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Women on Board: Directors Must Move to Tap Advantages

By now the benefits of cultivating more female leadership are clear to most boards. But moving from recognition to action is a bigger step, and one that directors must be proactive about.

That’s the conclusion of research by Crown World Mobility, a division of Hong Kong-based Crown Worldwide Group that consults with companies on talent issues. Despite the fact that women and minorities outnumber white males by two to one in the U.S. workplace, they continue to represent a disproportionate percentage when tallied into the executive and leadership roll call, the firm notes.

And one major reason is that most U.S. companies lack strategies for talent recruitment to harness the power and untapped potential of these groups. The responsibility for such an oversight can begin with the board, Lisa Johnson, global practice leader for the firm told Spotlight on Boards.

“Having women in senior leadership can’t just be something HR comes up with. It requires a commitment from the senior levels of the organization.”

“For boards to be more committed to having women in senior leadership, it can’t just be something that HR comes up with,” she said. “It requires commitment from the senior levels of the organization.”

Making the case for more women in senior leadership—in both C-level positions as well as on the board itself—is becoming an easier argument to make, Johnson noted, because of a variety of recent empirical studies. For example, Credit Suisse found that companies with women directors outperformed companies without women directors in return on equity, average growth, and price-book value multiples. For six years in a row, a review of 2,360 global companies showed, those with at least one woman director had better share-price performance than those without women.

The reasons having women in senior leadership roles makes a difference include their better skills at listening and expressing empathy, but go way beyond that, Johnson said.

But, she cautioned, in attempting to heed this emerging truth, directors should be careful not to act too opportunistically. The benefits of women in senior leadership come not just from the fact that they’re female but from who, in particular, these women are.

“They must be otherwise qualified to be on a board, of course,” Johnson said. “But within that pool, having women on a board brings those beneficial influences to bear.”



  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.