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Why the Influence of Women on Boards Still Lags by Robert G. Eccles, Erwinn Danneels, George F. Colony, Jill J. Avery, Susan Fournier, Deborah Henretta, Kimberly Whitler

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Why the Influence of Women on Boards Still Lags

The representation of women on corporate boards has risen substantially over the past decade, but the growth rate is slowing. Meanwhile women’s power on the boards on which they sit is often limited.

Almost all Fortune 500 executive boards now include at least one woman, and many have two or more. The average board among these companies is made up of nine men and two women — double the number of female board members in 2006. While these gains are promising, they appear to be slowing. Last year, the overall number of female corporate directors in the Fortune 500 actually dipped slightly.

Why the apparent flattening? It’s not because women haven’t ...

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