Lauren Lyster, Yahoo! Finance, October 24, 2013
Anyone who watched the Apple (AAPL) keynote this week (if you’re me) couldn’t help but notice that it was a parade of middle-aged white guys who came on stage to reveal the company’s latest and greatest.
And Twitter, ahead of it’s planned IPO next month, has come under fire for the makeup of its board of directors: all white men. The executive team isn’t much better (all men except for the general counsel).
And lest it seems like we’re picking on Twitter and Apple, the lack of women and minorities in leadership and director roles at tech companies is a broader problem.
As The New York Times reports: About 49 percent of publicly traded information technology businesses have no women on their boards, compared with 36 percent of the 2,770 largest public companies in the country, according to GMI Ratings, a research firm.
One common argument is that there simply aren’t enough qualified women and minorities in tech to fill these roles. The numbers (focusing on women) seem to support that.
According to the research firm Catalyst which studies women and business, only 5.7% of employed women in the US work in the computer industry, and only about 2% of women have a degree in a high-tech field.
And the push for diversity is not just rooted in political correctness. Studies reveal that diversity has a real value for companies.
Again, to cite the New York Times: McKinsey & Company found that the companies with more women on their corporate boards far outperformed the average company in return on equity and other measures. Operating profit was 56 percent higher.