U.K. Considers Quotas; Should the U.S.?

A subject that often surfaces in conversations about the gap in women’s leadership is the idea of implementing quotas that would dictate the number of women required to be in particular positions within an organization.  Some believe that getting the critical mass is essential, and women should do it in any way necessary. Others believe instituting a quota system is not the right path for women.

Earlier this week, the United Kingdom reported that big companies may be given two years to increase the number of women leaders on boards or face mandated quotas, according to Reuters.

The proposal comes from a government panel that has been investigating why there are such low numbers of women on corporate boards in the U.K. According a report by Cranfield School of Management, women directors comprise just 135 of the 1,076 directorships on boards of FTSE 100 companies in Britain.

The United States isn’t faring much better in terms of numbers. A Catalyst study from December 2010 reports that women make up 15.2 percent of board members in the states.

During Vision 2020’s American Conversation about Women and Leadership in October 2010, quotas were discussed in the Business, Law & Finance Conversation. President and Founder of The White House Project Marie Wilson said there is a correlation between political power and corporate power and that women in other countries are ahead of the United States on corporate boards because they have quotas.

Are quotas a path the United States should consider embarking on? Share your thoughts on Facebook and in the comments below.

About equalityinsight

Vision 2020 is a national coalition of organizations and individuals united in their commitment to achieve women’s economic and social equality. Join Vision 2020 today! http://www2.drexelmed.edu/vision2020giftsonline/Individual.aspx
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