Researcher Finds Women Still Largely Underrepresented on Corporate Boards of Directors

Recent research from Maria Goranova, an associate professor at the Lubar School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has found that women remain largely underrepresented among corporate boards of directors. This is particularly true for women of color.

In 2017, women occupied just 22 percent of seats on the board of directors of companies in the S&P 500 index. With boards averaging 11 people, many times there are only one or two women on each board.

The statistics are even worse for women of color. Of the 5,406 board seats among S&P 500 companies, minority women occupied just 3.3 percent of all seats. African-American women held 120, Asian-American women held 50 seats and Latina/Hispanic women held 31 seats on these boards of directors. And, Dr. Goranova maintains that S&P 500 boards are generally more diverse than the boards of midsize and small companies.

Dr. Goranova argues there are a multitude of factors that explain why trends for women directors have not kept up with progress in other fields. She adds that MBA programs across the country are attracting greater numbers of women than previous years, but researchers still find a gender wage gap for MBA graduates.

“Educational progress has been made, but possibly not into the high-paying positions,” said Dr. Goranova.

Dr. Goranova holds a bachelor’s degree and MBA in management both from Sofia University in Palo Alto, California, and a Ph.D. in strategic management from Syracuse University in New York.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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