From its inception, OnBoard has been a pioneer in its approach to getting more women on corporate boards. The organization was the first to field a study to measure the status of women on corporate boards. Recognizing that hard numbers are more compelling than prose, OnBoard strives to make the case for a problem that needs to be addressed while creating an essential benchmark for measuring progress and proving efficacy.
Guided by the philosophy that “what gets measured gets done”, OnBoard prepared and reported results of the first study in 1993, promoting it as a progress report for Georgia public companies, as well as a yardstick for the work yet to be done.
Developing the Study
1993 | The first study measured the number of women board members and women officers in Georgia’s public companies, determining the percentage of positions held by women. The study also measured the percentage of companies with no women board members or officers.
1999 | OnBoard’s advocacy efforts were significantly amplified by funding that supported the distribution of the study to every public company in Georgia. The study gained visibility (quoted in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle and The Wall Street Journal), and helped grow membership and event attendance, and most importantly, it attracted major sponsors, many of whom have supported OnBoard for over a decade.
2001 | Well ahead of its time, OnBoard added the measurement of board seats and officer positions held by women of color.
What Gets Measured Gets Done
1993 | Only 1/4 of the 150 Georgia public companies tracked had women directors, accounting for only 4% of all board seats.
1998 | 7% of Executive Officers in Georgia’s top public companies were women.
2001 | A little over half of 1% of board seats were held by women of color.
2013 | After 21 years, the number of women directors directors has doubled, and the percentage of board seats held by women rose to 11.5% – representing great progress, but also illustrating how far there is to go before OnBoard’s work is done. Even as the number of executive officers decreases, the women executive officers reached 10% in 2008 and stay close to that percentage with no significant breakout – 9.8% this year. The share of board seats held by women of color has the furthest to go – yet to exceed 2%.
See the results of our latest study.