Just 35% of male directors think having a female board member is ‘very important’

October 6, 2015, 7:19 PM UTC
Depressed businesswoman
Photograph by Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

A new PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey of public corporate directors found that men and women have vastly different opinions on the importance of board diversity. Men, it turns out, don’t seem to mind the lack of diversity nearly as much as women do.

According to Bloomberg, 63% of female respondents–compared with 35% of men–said that having women on corporate boards was very important. 46% of women said racial diversity was very important, while 27% of men agreed. And women were also more confident that there were qualified diverse candidates to serve on boards by a large margin. 46% of women said there were enough qualified diverse candidates, and only 18% of men agreed.

Newer members of boards were more likely to value diversity. 62% of respondents who had been on their boards for less than a year said that diversity was crucial, while only 39% of those who had been around for more than ten years agreed.

Fewer than 1% of corporate boards in the Fortune 500 have achieved or surpassed gender parity. But evidence is growing that diversity is good for corporate boardrooms: a Credit Suisse report found that large companies with at least one woman on their boards performed better than their all-male counterparts, and boards with three or more female directors enjoyed particular success, according to a report by Catalyst.

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