Why women only comprise 13% of board positions at public companies in the USA

Nov 12, 2015

Women aren’t elected to board positions for one reason: There aren’t enough women in senior positions to select from. The problem doesn’t start at the board level. It starts in the C-Suite.

Now that’s upsetting.

Public companies seek board members who have experience as company presidents, CEO’s, COO’s, CFO’s and sometimes (more often at consumer companies) CMO’s. But how many women do you know in these executive positions? When more women enter the C-suite, more will be selected to join boards at public companies. Until we shatter, unequivocally and irrevocably, the executive glass ceiling, we won’t solve the boardroom problem.

The good news: I believe this will happen at an accelerated pace.  Advances of every kind – from technology to human ideology – get exponentially faster each decade. Women are getting bolder about their achievements, demanding recognition. And in today’s lean organizations, it’s easier to spot and reward top performers – male or female – because there are no more hiding places around protected positions and corporate layers.  All of this – combined with more education, more women in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and more exposure for our accomplishments will propel females into those C-Suite spots which, in turn, will earn us more board seats.

I work daily with women in my firm and as my clients who are brilliant. More than that, they are bold, determined and among the most capable people I know. I see every day how women are striding with purpose into the future. They know where they are going and they will be there sooner than later. Of this I am convinced.

Jan Gusich


85 Executive Parkway, Suite 400
Hudson, Ohio 44236