Target: U.S. Senate Committee for Commerce, Science and Transportation, Chairman John Thune (R-SD)
Goal: Pass federal legislation mandating gender equity in publicly held corporations.
Women only represent roughly 17% of members on the board of directors at Fortune 500 companies. This number is surprising given that more women than men earn bachelor’s degrees. However, these educational advancements by women have not translated into advancement in representation within the business world.
Social scientists and business experts offer various explanations for the lack of women CEOs and board members at Fortune 500 companies. There is consensus that a strong implicit gender bias against women exists and causes their work to be considered less valuable as that of men. When women face considerable sexism and misogyny when they enter this field, those obstacles prevent women from professional advancement and the necessary professional recognition and respect from male peers.
Given an environment that is now flush with an influx of women but not an attendant increase in women in the highest levels of corporate decision-making such as board of directors of Fortune 500 companies, the U.S. should propose and pass legislation which would address this gender inequity. The U.S. should mimic the success of some European nations in setting mandatory gender quotas within company’s boardrooms.
Studies demonstrate that the more female presence there is within corporate boardrooms, the better the corporation performs. Companies with more female directors have less volatility in earnings, more long-term viability and 16% more profits than boards with no women.
Please sign this petition and urge the United States Senate to create legislation aimed at fostering gender diversity within the corporate context.
Dear Sen. Thune,
We cannot wait any longer for publicly held companies in the United States to finally grasp the fact that women face insurmountable gender bias within the business world. Also, the public has waited long enough for companies to appreciate that more female representation on their boards of directors results in better profits.
For these reasons, the government must step in and forcibly change the way business is conducted within these entities. The Senate must draft and pass legislation that requires companies to possess a minimum of 30% female presence within the boards of directors for publicly held companies. This is path has proven successful for many of our European partners.
Study after study has been conducted demonstrating that despite the educational and social gains achieved by women in the last few decades, a persistent gender bias pervades in the business industry. This gender bias, which routinely undervalues the work of a women, may be a factor in contributing to the low number of women selected to be on a board of directors.
This bias has not and will not be improved by leaving the business community to its own devices. It can only be neutralized externally via government regulation. As such, please conduct research into, draft and pass legislation which will see a mandatory increase in female presentation on boards of directors at publicly held companies in the United States.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Geralt