Slow progress in adding more women to boards has dominated the conversation. But tips from standout companies are more likely to inspire others to take firmer action.McKinsey and Company Logo

The tone of much public discourse on the issue of women’s representation on boards has been pessimistic of late, and understandably so, given the crawl toward gender parity in the United States. Women currently hold 19 percent of board positions there, while in European countries such as France, Norway, and Sweden, where legislative or voluntary targets are in place, they hold more than 30 percent.

 

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When managers and scholars talk about diversity’s impact on organizations and teams, they’re usually referring to the effects on collective accuracy and objectivity, analytical thinking, and innovativeness. On “harder” measures of financial performance,

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The Next Frontier in Gender Diversity

Despite recent advances in female board participation globally, gender diversity among top executives remains disappointingly low across all markets, with some improvement discerned in the past few years. Moreover, there does not appear a correlation between board gender diversity and gender diversity in the C-Suite at the market level.