Businesswoman

Gender diversity in the boardroom dismissed by a third of top executives

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 12:10 GMT Jump to Comments

Just under three quarters of senior executives believe gender diversity in the boardroom is a positive thing, but nearly a third doubt its value altogether.

New research by recruitment specialist, Executives Online has shown that 71 per cent of top executives believe that more women in senior exeutive roles can be achieved without quotas, whereas less than 21 per cent believe that quotas should be introduced.

James O’Brien, managing director of Executives Online, said: “These figures show that there are clearly still a significant number of senior executives who don’t support the theory that gender diversity in the boardroom is good for business.

“This comes at a time when gender diversity is a hotly debated issue and the number of females in top executive roles is still low, having dropped from 6.7 percent to 5.8 percent internationally”.

The research looked at the perceived advantages and disadvantages of boardroom gender diversity.  Over a third of all respondents believe that a major benefit of gender diversity in the boardroom is broader visionary thinking (35 percent).

Nearly a fifth (18 percent) think that diversity could deliver better governance, whilst other benefits cited are more innovation (17 percent) and better risk management (14 percent).

However, nearly a third of those polled believe there are potential downsides to gender diversity in the boardroom, including conflict (11 percent), indecision (nine percent), blockages (eight percent), and lack of direction (seven percent).

O’Brien added: “Examining the detailed explanations given by respondents, it’s interesting to note that the majority of those opposed to quotas express concerns that important positions may be awarded to women despite there being better qualified male candidates.

“They believe that candidates should always be appointed on merit alone. Others express concern that women may feel undermined due to inferences that they were awarded their position not on merit, but rather to fulfill a quota”.

Comments

Latest

Chancellor George Osborne is due to announce devolution of health and social care to the 10 Greater Manchester…

Eric Pickles, the Communities and local Government Secretary has turned down the proposed ‘Coventry Gateway’…

Plymouth City Council is latest to raise council tax by 1.99% as Hampshire county councillors protest to government…

Time never stands still for the public sector CIO. Continuous waves of new technology and government policies…

Individual students now contribute, on average, £27,000 to their university’s income. Retaining these…

Northamptonshire County Council votes to commission rather than provide services, as Lincolnshire announces £41m…

Local government in the UK can and should be proud of the way it has withstood the challenge of austerity to date.

Considered to be ‘one of the UK’s most precious institutions’, it is no surprise that the NHS…

David Kemp, sustainability manager at Procure Plus, discusses the issue of delivering effective retrofit and how…

We are now a digital nation. It’s been over 25 years since the launch of the World Wide Web and since then…

Devon plans major improvements to A30/A303 through the Blackdown Hills, while Thurrock bills the Highways Agency…

Panelists agreed on the huge potential of ‘attribute exchange’ to facilitate ‘channel shift’…