From Paul Hastings: "Women account for nearly 50% of the world’s population and approximately 40% of the global workforce. However, women are consistently underrepresented on corporate boards of directors across the globe. Though many countries have made great strides in promoting women’s rights with respect to combating discrimination and representation in public office, women’s equal representation on corporate boards remains elusive, with some shining exceptions.
France, for instance, is a European Member State that has had the most dramatic increase since legislation was enacted in 2011 to address this issue. A year before the law was enacted the proportion of women serving on corporate boards in France’s top 40 largest listed companies was 15%. In 2018, that number has significantly increased to 42%.
The United Kingdom saw similar progress, with the percentage of female-held directorships at the top 100 companies increasing from 10.5% in 2005 to 27.7% in 2017. There are some potentially encouraging signs that this issue is becoming more visible in the United States as well. The ushering in of the Women’s March globally and the #MeToo movement is bringing gender equality to the forefront of many conversations and making headlines. Already, in the first five months of 2018, women are gaining more seats on boards – with women making up 31% of new board directors at the top 3,000 publicly traded companies in the U.S."