Established in 2004, ION is the national consortium and stakeholder organization whose mission is to increase the number of women appointed to corporate boards and to executive officer positions.

ION's Member Organizations represent nearly half of the 28 million women working in management and professional roles across the nation. ION is the only confederation of regional organizations in the US engaged in this work. To learn more about ION, go to

Recent News and Research Updates

It's been a busy spring for research and news on women on boards and in executive positions. Here are the highlights. Note: click the links provided to view the original article, or right-click on the link if you prefer to copy and paste the URL into your browser.
Heidrick & Struggles 2016 Board Monitor: reports just a slight increase in the rate at which women are securing new board appointments (women were selected for 29.8% of the new board seats). H&S now predicts it will take two additional years (2026) to achieve gender parity in new board appointments for the Fortune 500. [Link to Article]

Navigating Disruption without Gender Diversity? Think Again (EY): EY identified five disconnects that hinder progress on gender diversity in organizations, leaving organizations less prepared to manage disruption and sustain innovation. These disconnects include the Reality Disconnect, defined as the still prevalent belief that the gender diversity issue has been solved (expressed by 69% of the leaders survey, even though only 13% expect to increase the number of women on their boards in the next five years). Other disconnects include the pipeline disconnect and the data disconnect.  [
Link to Report]

Vague Feedback is Holding Women Back (HBR): Researchers reviewing performance evaluations found that women are less likely to be given specific, actionable feedback tied to business goals. This vague feedback often leads to lower performance evaluations for women and may reflect a bias that keeps evaluators from connecting women's contributions to business outcomes. (Also noted: 76% of the references about being "too aggressive" were directed toward women). The article concludes with specific steps organizations can take to address the differences in their evaluation outcomes. [
Link to Article]

One Diverse Candidate is Not Enough (HBR): researchers found that a single female or minority on a slate of candidates has 0% chance of being selected as the final choice. Using the results from two experimental studies and the analysis of historical hiring data, the researchers suggest that a single diverse candidate clearly communicates that this person is outside of the norm for the job and a higher hiring risk than candidates are in the majority in terms of demographic characteristics.  
  • The good news? The odds of hiring/selecting a woman were 79 times higher if there were at least two women in the final list of candidates (and 193 times higher if there were at least two minorities included). [Link to Article]
Men are Three Times More Likely Than Women to Succeed in Salary Negotiations: Just in case you think the way to close the gender pay gap is to teach women to ask for more money, a new survey from Glassdoor found that only 4% of women who negotiated their salary received more money compared to 15% of men. [Link to Article]

Researchers Prove C-Suite Gender Gap - But Can't Explain It: in this study, researchers controlled for 85 variables in an effort to explain the gender gap in appointments and pay for women in C-suite positions. Their findings? Those 85 variables explained only 10% of appointment gap and only 13% of pay gap. [
Link to Article

Book: How Women Decide: What's True, What's Not, and What Strategies Spark the Best Choices (Therese Huston) This book has been highlighted in a number of publications recently and is worth a read. Huston discusses how our stereotypes about men and women's decision-making characteristics impact our perceptions of both as leaders and how the real differences contribute to better decision-making when there are both men and women at the table. [
Link to Article] [NYTimes Review] 

Pace International Law Review Symposium Edition (Volume 26, Number 1, 2014) 
This collection of papers from a February 2013 symposium includes one from Anne Alshott (Yale Law School), who explores the use of tax incentives/penalties to encourage companies to achieve an established goal with regard to the number of women on their boards. Alshott notes that while "quotas" are considered contrary to US corporate governance values, the US in fact has frequently used the corporate tax code to accomplish societal goals and social ends (employer-based health care, alternative fuels/clean energy subsidies, community reinvestment requirements, etc.). [
Paper: Gender Quotas for Corporate Boards - Options for Legal Design in the United States
  • Also worth noting: the papers by Wade, Dhir, and others in this collection [Link to Issue]. 


  • The board of Australia's Woolworths is now 50% female. [Link to Article]
  • Bloomberg's list of 200 best-paid executives in 2015 includes 17 women; Oracle Co-CEO Catz highest paid among women. [Link to Article]
  • The latest numbers for women on boards in Asia Pacific show limited change in spite of study's performance findings. [Link to Article
  • Good news: tech companies are reporting that they have achieved gender pay equity in their organizations. Not so good news: the overall lack of women leaders. For example, at Microsoft, there are only 18 women among top 155 execs (11.6%). [Link to Article]

Recent Updates

Want your news as it happens? Follow us on Twitter @IONWomen or LinkedIn.

  • 39% of women serving on boards say gender was a factor in their appointment vs. 1% of men. [Link to Article]
  • Global poll by EY finds little hope for increased gender equity at the top of the insurance industry. [Link to Article]
  • Bloomberg introduces Financial Services Gender Equality Index (GEI) to track the best performers on gender equity in the financial services industry. [Link to Article]
  • The State Street Gender Diversity ETF (SHE) has nearly $270 million in assets under management just two months since its launch. [Link to Article]
  • Discovery Communications is one of two S&P 500 boards that is still all white men. [Link to Article]
  • Ohio lawmakers have introduced a resolution to encourage companies to put more women on their boards; ION Managing Director Julie Graber participated in the news conference announcing the resolution. [Click to Article] [Press Conference Pic]
  • Tracking paid leave: San Francisco has adopted a six-week mandate; others look at why now, what's next. [Link to Article] [Link to Analysis]
  • Twitter promises more diversity on board with recent departures. [Link to Article]
  • Strong words from Judith Seldeneck of Diversified Search on lack of progress for women on boards (includes the word "quotas"). [Link to Article]
  • Media coverage of female CEOs has three times more mentions of work-life and 30% less focus on strategy. Also, for women, there are more references to experience/qualifications. [Link to Article]
  • This great infographic from Payscale on the gender pay gap summarizes their recent research, including the factors driving differences. [Link to Article]
  • The CEO from Barnabas Health says “Lip service is cheap." Commits to having at least one woman candidate for new board seats.  [Link to Article]
  • "One weird trick for keeping female employees from quitting" - pay & promote them as much as men. [Link to Article]
  • Infuriating facts re: the pay gap from Fortune - what it costs women to be paid unfairly. [Link to Article]
  • Indra Nooyi at the Women in the World Summit: calls for a stronger sisterhood, women providing more support for each other.  Nooyi also wants workplace changes, more child care tax breaks, & innovative housing supporting family care. [Link to Article]
  • Canadian pay gaps highest at upper salary levels: highest-earning men make 60% more than highest-earning women. [Link to Article]
  • Want diversity of thought? How you run a meeting matters. [Link to Article]
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