January 28, 2014 | Number of The Day
Number of NJ corporate board seats held by women

Studies show that corporate boards with women members financially outperform those without women by a significant margin (26 percent for large capitalized companies and 17 percent for small to midsize). What’s more, some of these studies show that women directors deal more effectively with risk and are more likely to make decisions by taking the interests of multiple stakeholders into account.

So why aren’t more women on corporate boards in New Jersey? A study by the Executive Women of New Jersey, “A Seat at the Table: Celebrating Women & Board Leadership,” found that only 139, or 14 percent of the 1,007 board seats on the NJ Russell 3000 were held by women.

Thirty percent of these companies had no women on their boards. The larger the company was, the more likely they were to have women serving on the boards — NJ Fortune 500 companies had 19 percent of their seats held by women.

Indeed, there are 17 New Jersey companies that have three or more women on their boards, including American Water Works, Campbell Soup, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, Maidenform, Prudential Financial, South Jersey Industries, and Chubb.

The report theorized that more women weren’t populating boards because there were fewer female chief executive officers in New Jersey. There are currently only four female CEOs of companies on the NJ Russell 3000, including Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup and Cynthia Sullivan of Immunomedics, both companies that have three or more women on their boards.