Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Too little, but not too late: gender equality

I came accross two pieces of news yesterday:

The first:

The second:

The Gender Diversity Index data shows that the average percentage of women on Fortune 500 Boards of Directors is 16.42%, based on research from the 2020 Women on Boards organization, whose  objective is to have 20% of women on corporate boards by 2020. The current status ranges from 32% in the winning boards and 10% of companies which had zero female Board Members. After all these years, and all the fights, campaigns, programs and commitments made,  female representation in the largest 500 companies in the USA remains at 16.42% on average. And the fact that some consider 20% by 2020 to be an inspiring objective is just plain sad.

However, Henkel are doing their bit to advance women, through the appointment of Kathrin Menges as the first woman on the Management Board. The first ever woman since Henkels' founding 135 years ago. This is the team she joins:

What a great diverse bunch! And now they have Kathrin Menges. Well done!

Henkel has a great blog all about diversity and inclusion. Full of information and stories about what Henkel is doing to create an inclusive culture.

One aspect of diversity is gender balance. I looked at how many women there are overall in Henkel's team - from their 2010 online Sustainability Report, we can see that women are still very much a minority:

My only question is: why on earth did it take 135 years to get one woman on the Management Board? And will it take another 135 years for the second?

elaine cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainability Reporter, HR Professional, Author of CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices.  Contact me via  on Twitter or via my website


Linda said...

That's a very good question and we pretty much know the underlying issues. The debate about gender equality in companies is not new by any means, it has just been an issue that is not prioritized by the corporations. And why would it when they already are of the opinion that they have the most suitable people on the board of direction. It is unfortunate to see that we now have to go as far as legislation to get companies to include women in their boards, but clearly it is necessary.

Emma. Å. said...

This is a very interesting topic but I would like to hear you opinion on weather using affirmative action or not? Do you think that is a sustainable action?

Related Posts with Thumbnails