Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why so few women directors?

Today's WSJ discusses the paucity of women directors (here).  There are good reasons and bad ones for appointing women to any board.  I don't believe that women automatically have an inherently different point of view or that their mere presence on a board will change its dynamics.  (Check out Enron's former board, which counted Wendy Gramm among its members, for example.)  But I do believe that individual women may have individual characteristics that might help particular boards.  Every organization has its own needs, and those needs will change from time to time.  But when an organization is searching only for directors who have been directors elsewhere (regardless of performance), and when most directors historically have been male, guess what happens?

For why I might be a useful board member for certain types of organizations, see here.