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Few Women in Power in Banking

Women hold only 10.3 percent of board seats at 50 of the world’s largest banks, according to a report released earlier this month by Corporate Women Directors International (CWDI), a nonprofit dedicated to increasing women’s presence on boards of directors. The figures for the top 100 US banks were slightly higher, as 90 percent of the banks had at least one woman on the board, putting women’s representation at 12.2 percent. However, according to CWDI, this figure lags behind women’s representation in other industries, as women comprise 13.7 percent of the boards of Fortune 500 companies.

Reuters reports that the top-ranked bank was Nordea Bank AB of Sweden, where four women sit on an 11-member board. Japanese banks were the worst in terms of women’s representation, as none of the six Japanese banks studied as part of the top 50 had any women directors at all.

In recent years, banks have launched marketing campaigns specifically to reach more women, but Irene Natividad, co-chair of CWDI, told Reuters, “[S]adly that commitment is not reflected in the boardroom of many banks.”

Sources:

Reuters 11/11/05, Corporate Women Directors International

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