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

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Women on Boards

  • Washington DC: 14.7% for 184 public companies in DC region (DC, Maryland, and Virginia). The report also notes that only 22 companies have achieved "critical mass" with three or more women on their boards, while 42 companies (23%) still have no women on their boards. 
  • Bursa Malaysia: 19.1% for Top 100 companies. Numbers are not so good when you look at all 928 of the listed companies: 372 (40%) have no women on their boards. 
  • Alberta: 13% for 148 companies based in Alberta that are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. While this is an improvement from 11% in 2016, the report also notes that women filled only 25% of 2017 board vacancies, down from 32% in 2016.
  • Canada: 14% for a sample of 660 companies listed on Canadian stock exchanges, up from 12% in 2016. The Staff Notice reporting these numbers provides an extensive review of women directors and executive officers in the three years since Canada began requiring more extensive governance disclosure as it related to gender equality. 
  • India: 637 of the 1670 companies listed on the National Stock Exchange would need to appoint at least one woman as an independent director if recommendations regarding this requirement are implemented. India currently requires at least one female director for all companies, but does not specify independence. It's been reported that many companies met the original requirement by appointing a female family member to the board. 
  • Wisconsin: 18% for the top 50 public companies based in the state, with only seven companies reporting no women among their directors.  

Still So Far to Go

You gotta love anonymous surveys for telling it like it is; recent releases from Lean In & McKinsey as well as PwC's annual Corporate Directors Survey provide clear evidence of why we still have so far to go when it comes to gender equality.

Turns out that a substantial number of men think corporate leadership is diverse enough as is, that the workplace treats men and women equally, and that we could use a little less focus on diversity and more on ... who knows? 
  • Women in the Workplace 2017 (Lean In/McKinsey) documents substantial differences in men and women and their view of equality in the workplace. Of particular note, as reported by many, is that over 50% of men in organizations where women hold just 10% of the executive positions believe women are "well represented" in their ranks. Think about it - table of 10, with one woman and nine men and women are "well represented." 
  • 2017 Annual Corporate Directors Survey (PwC) also reflects sharp divides between women and men, with women much more likely to say that diversity - really, any kind of diversity - is important and that current efforts to increase diversity are too slow. (Full Report)
And from the Diversity in the Boardroom report released by the Institute of Directors Ireland, nearly half of male directors report that the pool of qualified women candidates for boards is too small to increase the number of women serving. 

Gender Pay Gap 

  • An analysis of total pay for CEOs in the FTSE 100 shows that while women make up 6% of the CEOs (6 out of 100), they earn only 4% of the overall pay.
  • Job Search Intelligence crunched the numbers and found that among the top 2%  of earners, women make 39 cents for every dollar earned by a man (with average salaries: $145,000 for women and $371,000 for men). The analysis includes the numbers for each individual state.  
  • Guy who gets it: Australian radio show co-host backs up partner's demand for equal pay with an offer to take a pay cut. 
  • Fearless Girl statue firm faces its own gender pay gap challenge; chooses to settle claim for unfair wages for women and minority employees. 

In and Out of the Courtroom 

No End in Sight   

Quick Takes

  • Women at the Top:  It hasn't been a good year for women CEOs in the S&P 500 as multiple departures have been announced. Since 2009, 19 female CEOs have stepped down; only three have been replaced by another woman.
  • Why do women leave STEM fields? This study shows it takes multiple signals of lack of fit to drive women out of careers in STEM fields.
  • Calling the shots: Rometty, Nooyi, & Barra take the lead in negotiating decision to ''sunset'' Strategy & Policy Forum (a White House advisory board). 
  • Women's workforce participation in the US is being driven by women without a college education working in low-skill jobs. 
  • Around the World: The most recent OECD gender equality report notes lack of progress on gender pay gap, burden of unpaid work, & violence against women as signs of persistent inequality.  
  • I, Robot: Automation is so much more than an economic issue. Per usual, there's a gender difference
  • Getting Schooled: work-family policies at Shenandoah University include a bring your child to work transition period from maternity/paternity leave; kids can also accompany their parents to work when child care falls through. 
  • Not rocket science: GoDaddy increased promotions of women by 30% last year with this simple fix - they considered everyone who was eligible and not just the guys who raised their hands.
  • The pictures tell the story: one PR campaign, 32 photographers, no women. Nikon has an optics problem.
  • Who Has Your Back? Women dominate the insurance industry workforce but very few make it to the top.
  • Who Didn't Get the Memo? Google segregates women into lower-paying jobs, stifling careers according to this class-action lawsuit.
  • On Wall Street: women see fewer opportunities to advance, pointing to culture & bias as barriers.
  • Good read: so few black women in corporate America; what holds them back, who's working on driving change.

Men don't want to believe the data on gender bias [in science] because it requires admitting that ''those who have that have succeeded..have not done so entirely due to their own innate brilliance.''

Alison Cole, Wired, 8/25/2017

Register now for Gender Equality in the C-Suite & Boardroom, sponsored by Skytop Strategies, November 15-16 at the Omni Chicago Hotel. Receive 25% off the regular registration fee (Code: 25eq1115). Use the link above for more information and registration. 

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