Houston companies adding more women to boards
Women made significant gains in memberships on the boards of the area’s largest publicly traded companies in 2018 as they captured 33 percent of available positions, though Houston lagged behind national figures.
In all, 24 of the 72 new independent directors added to corporate boards in Houston this year were women, according to corporate search firm Spencer Stuart. The appointments show a sharp rise compared with 2017, when only 16 percent of newly appointed memberships were for women.
Forty percent of new board posts in the U.S. were awarded to women this year, which is the highest percentage since Spencer Stuart began the survey in 1998.
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Spencer Stuart credits increased public pressure, particularly from institutional investors.
“Our survey results are consistent with what we are seeing daily in our ongoing recruitment of new board members for our clients,” said Jeff Hyer, managing director of Spencer Stuart’s Houston office. “The role played by institutional investors continues to drive best practices, forcing companies to move faster than they might have otherwise.”
Of all independent directors serving on the boards of the 84 publicly traded companies headquartered in Houston included in the study, 20 percent are now made up of women, up from 16 percent in 2017 and 8 percent in 2011.