Monday, December 27, 2010

Gender Gap

The WSJ sometimes disappoints me. In an article dated November 18, 2010 by Pui-Wing Tam, it tried to put the lack of diversity on corporate boards in the best possible light:

Some 56% of Silicon Valley companies now have at least one woman director on their board, up from 51% in 2009 and 41% in 2003...

There are usually between nine and twelve directors on a board. The study cited above is based on corporate boards that include "at least one woman." Basically, the WSJ is lending support to the idea that diversity is progressing because Boards have added a single woman. Moreover, having a single woman on a Board apparently equals reaching "critical mass":

"There's been a growing critical mass of women on boards" in Silicon Valley, and "now it's really come to fruition," says Jonathan Visbal of Spencer Stuart, who co-wrote the study.

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. The only person quoted in the article who doesn't look moronic is Autodesk's general counsel:

"You want board members with divergent experiences and viewpoints, and that leads you down the path of diversity" in directors, says Pascal Di Fronzo, Autodesk's general counsel.

That makes sense. Applauding the addition of a single woman to a Board of Directors does not.

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