Female directors meet or beat men in financial expertise

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Corporate boards lacking diversity sometimes claim they can’t find qualified women to become directors, but the data tell another story.

The percentage of female board members with financial expertise is equal to or greater than the percentage of men with similar backgrounds, according to data released Monday by MSCI ESG Research as part of an annual report about women on boards.

This indicates that boards with female directors have not resorted to less qualified candidates, hinting that the gender gap is not caused by a lack of supply. About 80% of directors at Russell 3000 companies are men.

In emerging markets, women on boards were more likely than men to have financial expertise such as a background as a chief financial officer or in accounting, equity analysis or another such role, according to the MSCI study, which looked at about 30,000 directors at public companies worldwide.

Bloomberg News