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 the interests 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

2017 has already been a busy year for news and research on women in leadership roles. So much so, this newsletter is devoted to just the updates on women on boards. Over the next couple of weeks, there will be separate updates focused on women in executive positions, the gender pay gap, and other topics of interest. Check the subject line in your email and pick the ones that are of interest to you.   

As always - the linked texted in each bullet will take you to the original source or right-click on the link if you prefer to copy and paste the URL into your browser.

International News

  • Australia: Women now hold 25.4% of the board seats in the ASX200, making it unlikely that the  country will meet its goal of 30% by 2018. Women have secured only 30% of the new board appointments so far in 2017, a drop from 44% in 2016.     
  • Hong Kong: Women hold 12.4% of the board seats in the HSI-50, an improvement over previous years but still lagging behind other countries. New appointments going to women: 11.3%.
  • Pakistan: Women hold only 6.4% of the board seats in the KSE-100; 69 companies still have no female directors. 
  • United Kingdom: ConvaTech approves first all-male board in the FTSE 100 since 2014.  
  • New Zealand: Women now hold 22% of seats on NZX 100 boards; 25 companies have no women on their boards. 
  • Ontario: The Ontario Stock Exchange finds ''underwhelming'' progress for women on boards & executive management three years after new disclosure requirements. 
  • Asia-Pacific Region: women hold 12.8% of board seats in Asia-Pacific region (1577 companies in 20 economies) according to research from Corporate Women Directors International.  
  • Worldwide: Deloitte is reporting that women hold 15% of all board seats globally, up from 12% in 2015. Companies with women in top leadership positions (CEO or board chair) have nearly twice that percentage (28.8% and 28.5% respectively). 
  • UK and US: Do any corporate boards really need more of the same? UK & US share disappointing diversity results
  • S&P 500: BoardEx is reporting that there are five S&P 500 companies with no women on their boards; 87 companies have only one female director (17.4%).
  • S&P 100: Calvert is reporting that 100% of S&P 100 companies have at least one female board member. They also note, however, that only 47 companies have boards where women hold at least 25% of the total seats. 
  • Public Sector: The participation rate of women on state sector boards in New Zealand exceeded 45% at end of 2016.
  • Public Sector: Britain's commissioner of public appointments is warning that UK officials will be challenged to meet the requirements for diversity in appointments to public boards

Industry Updates

At the State Level

  • Colorado and Pennsylvania have joined California, Massachusetts and Illinois as states with legislative resolutions encouraging companies to increase the number of women serving on their boards.

Policy and Advocacy

No More All-Male Boards:

Pushing for Diversity

  • 82% of Canadian investors think women should be better represented on corporate boards.
  • UK pension funds push for better gender diversity on their own boards: Breaking the Mirror Image.
  • New Zealand's Kiwisaver calls on top 50 companies to achieve full gender diversity in five years, and they want to know how companies plan to achieve this target. 
  • Institutional investors join Illinois State Treasurer in raising the bar to promote more diversity & women on boards.
  • In the wake of family member appointments in many companies, India may make its ''one woman'' board requirement one ''independent'' woman director. 
  • There's an Interesting mix of opinions in Singapore regarding mandated targets for board diversity. 
  • Does regulation have an impact? This graphic tells the story women on boards internationally, noting the  countries with mandatory requirements.

Research & Strategy:

  • Canada: women who are general counsel in their companies hold more board seats than their male counterparts.
  • Stock Performance: Yet another study finds a positive relationship between women on boards & better stock performance.
  • Overboarding: 52% of women on boards serve on multiple boards, up from 42% in 2012. In comparison, 42% of male board members serve on more than one board, up from 38% in 2012.
  • Rookie Assignments: Men join boards with less experience than women and are more likely to be rookies serving in their first board assignment.   
  • Gender Diversity for a Reason: UK board members say gender is the diversity attribute most likely to improve board effectiveness & decision-making.
  • What's Working? Massachusetts State Treasurer Goldberg's Board Diversity Initiative has shared the results of roundtable discussions held last year to identify the most successful strategies for promoting diversity and getting more women on boards. 
  • Can't Find Any Women? CEOs say look to military and nonprofits for board candidates; they also recommend making the search for new board members an ongoing process.
  • Where Are the Women? This reports shows the gender gap in board committee assignments; you can guess where you'll find the women.

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For research and news highlighted in our past issues, visit our newsletter archives

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