Women Still Underrepresented on Boards


Where are the women? Still not in boardrooms at most companies in the United States.

The U.S. ranked tenth—tied with Australia—in the percentage of women with board seats at major companies. About 19.2 percent of board seats in the U.S. are held by women, according to a new report by Catalyst.

Norway was first, with women in about a third of board seats.

“Companies that are not making diversity on boards a priority should be embarrassed,” said Deborah Gillis, chief executive of Catalyst. “Smart leaders know that they can either lead the movement toward making profound and lasting impact, or be left behind.”

Previous research from Catalyst showed that companies with diverse boards have greater financial success than companies with male-dominated boards.

How the countries stacked up:

  • Norway 35.5%
  • Finland 29.9%
  • France 29.7%
  • Sweden 28.8%
  • Belgium 23.4%
  • UK 22.8%
  • Denmark 21.9%
  • Netherlands 21%
  • Canada 20.8%
  • USA 19.2%
  • Australia 19.2%
  • Germany 18.5%
  • Spain 18.2%
  • Switzerland 17%
  • Austria 13%
  • Ireland 10.3%
  • Hong Kong 10.2%
  • India 9.5%
  • Portugal 7.9%
  • Japan 3.1%

About the Author

Susan Price has been writing about careers, entrepreneurs and personal finance for more than a decade. She’s been an editor at BusinessWeek, Money, and iVillage.com, among others.