The women’s empowerment initiative Lean In made headlines recently by partnering with Getty Images to produce “a library of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them.”
Lean In was launched by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg with the publication of a book by the same name encouraging women to become more ambitious and make the best use of their opportunities. Among other things, the organization hopes to see more women running companies and serving on corporate boards — which, despite the decades of progress women have made in the workplace, remains shockingly rare.
Only one in ten board members worldwide are women, and just 4.6 percent of Fortune 1000 companies have female CEOs. While women now make up 40-50 percent of the workforce in many countries, the upper echelons of the business world are still overwhelming male-dominated.
By Hyeji Kim
Any corporate compliance program needs a strong relationship between the board of directors and the compliance and ethics officer in order to be effective. In 2010, the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) and the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) conducted a study which showed that the relationship between the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officers (CECOs) and boards of directors was much weaker than it should be. In 2013, SCCE conducted the study again to see if there were any changes.
The recently published 2013 study, based on over 600 responses from compliance and ethic professionals in the SCCE and HCCA database, seems to be on a much brighter note with generally positive findings.
Photo from www.business-ethics.com
In corporate governance, much attention is often devoted to ensuring that boards are truly representative of their shareholders. Of course, having independent directors and transparent voting procedures is important. Securing the right of women to have a say in how companies are governed is equally important, yet often overlooked.
According to the research by Corporate Women Directors International (CWDI) – women representation on the boards of companies around the world remains uneven. While a large number of companies include women on their boards in some of the major OECD economies (Norway – 100 percent of companies surveyed by CWDI have women on boards, United States – 87 percent, Germany 82 percent, UK – 75 percent) many other countries lag far behind. Only 33 percent of surveyed companies in Russia, 30 percent in Portugal and Italy, 27 percent in India, and 16 percent in Japan have women on their boards.