Few Women on Boards Despite Higher Degrees and Wide Sector Experience

Male-dominated-field A recent Times Online article reports on women's under-representation on boards. Within the article they quote research from Elisabeth Marx, a partner with Heidrick & Struggles, the executive search company, shows that the women who do make it on to FTSE 100 boards are highly educated: 48 per cent have attended Oxbridge or an Ivy League school; 68 per cent have an advanced degree such as an MBA. It is more common, according to Dr Marx, for women aged under 50 to have attended an elite university and obtained an advanced degree. In an earlier study she found that only 45 per cent of male chief executives had an advanced degree." So clearly lack of education is not to blame? The article continues by quoting Susan Vinnicombe, director of the International Centre for Women Leaders at Cranfield University  “What we have shown time and time again is that it's not human capital that holds women back from boards — it's social capital. It's nothing to do with their degrees. Many more of the women at this level have MBAs and they have far more multiple sector experience. Overwhelmingly they have far more diverse experience than the new male directors.” How long will it take for companies to realise the amount of talent they are missing out on by not helping women reach these most senior positions? 

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