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No Seat at the Table: How Corporate Governance and Law Keep Women Out of the Boardroom

Douglas M. Branson

New York University Press, 2007

Douglas Branson is the W. Edward Sell Chair in Business Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

The book documents the dearth of women board directors and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies through an in-depth analysis of data from the 2001 and 2005 proxy statements of these companies. In 2001, 11.6% of Fortune 500 company board seats were held by women. Professor Branson's analysis points out that even the small percentage of corporate board seats held by women overstates the representation of women in the highest levels of corporate America. Because some female board members hold multiple board seats, the actual number of women on Fortune 500 boards is comparable "to the size of a high school's graduating class." (Complete Review PDF) (AnalysisPDF published in Journal of Corporation Law)

Back to the Drawing Board: Designing Corporate Boards for a Complex World

Colin B. Carter
Jay W. Lorsch

Harvard Business School Press, 2004

Colin Carter is retired from Boston Consulting Group and serves on the boards of two publicly listed Australian companies. Jay Lorsch is a professor at Harvard Business School, the co-author of Restoring Trust in American Business (2005) and Pawns or Potentates:The Reality of America's Corporate Boards (1989). Professor Lorsch is also a director of Computer Associates International, Inc.

The authors push beyond structural devices to improve corporate governance - such as increasing the percentage of independent directors, reducing the number of boards on which each director serves, and electing a board chairman other than the CEO - to discuss the imperative for boards to define their roles in the light of the needs and circumstances of their companies. (Complete Review PDF)

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