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NUMBER OF WOMEN DIRECTORS AT ALL-TIME HIGH; RETAILERS HAVE HIGHEST PAID DIRECTORS; CEOs LOSE CONFIDENCE IN EEC TO MARKET THEIR PRODUCTS

NUMBER OF WOMEN DIRECTORS AT ALL-TIME HIGH; RETAILERS HAVE HIGHEST PAID
 DIRECTORS; CEOs LOSE CONFIDENCE IN EEC TO MARKET THEIR PRODUCTS
 NEW YORK, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The percentage of corporate boards seating women reached an all-time high this year of 60 percent, according to the 19th Annual Board of Directors Study released today by Korn/Ferry International, the world's leading executive search firm. In 1973, when the study was first published, only 11 percent of the boards reported a woman director. More recently, ten-year comparisons show a nearly 50 percent rise in the number of companies with a woman on the board.
 "Our study confirms that women are making great advances in the corporate boardroom," said Richard M. Ferry, chairman and chief executive officer of Korn/Ferry International. "As women become increasingly armed with the same business experience and records of achievement as their male counterparts, I expect this phenomenon not only to continue, but to accelerate. The increasingly positive attitude of CEOs toward women also has evidenced itself by more requests to recruit these talented executives," according to Ferry.
 "In an earlier study of our women placements, Korn/Ferry found that the number of women placed in senior level positions more than tripled 1981 to 1991. These striking shifts in the corporate workforce and boardroom indicate that the crack in the 'glass ceiling' is widening," Ferry added.
 According to the Korn/Ferry study, more insurance companies seat women directors than do corporations at large. Eighty percent of the insurers included a woman director on the board, up from 71 percent last year.
 The Ideal Board for the 1990s
 On a dream team of outside directors, today's CEOs rank women high on the list of sought-after board members. Only CEOs/COOs of other companies, the major source for outside directors, rank higher on the list of ideal board candidates.
 The study further pointed out that former government officials today rank low on the list of ideal outside directors, although 31 percent of the boards surveyed seat at least one director with this background.
 Similarly, while more than half the CEOs polled anticipate an increase in involvement of institutional investors in board decisions, they too were not seen as desirable board members. Only 9 percent of the respondents would welcome institutional investors on their board.
 Declining Confidence in EEC Unification
 There is less agreement among CEOs that this year's EEC unification will open new markets for their companies. Only 34 percent of those polled believe that unification holds new marketing possibilities for their goods and services, down from 42 percent last year, The survey also found that only 36 percent of all CEOs consider Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics as strong markets for their goods and services. A slightly higher number, 40 percent, is considering expanding efforts in this direction.
 Highest Paid Directors
 Retailers continue to pay the highest average compensation to outside directors, at $35,429. The lowest paid directors sit on the boards of banks and other financial institutions and receive an average $31,508 annually. Among all respondents the average outside director earned $33,133 in total annual compensation. This is up 29 percent over the amount of $25,720 paid five years ago, and outpaces the 24 percent hike in the National Consumer Price Index of the same period.
 Other Highlights of the Study
 -- The downsizing of corporate boards has stabilized with an overall average of 12 directors. CEOs agreed that the ideal board would seat a total of 12 directors.
 -- The number of boards reporting minority representation increased by 20 percent in the last five years from 31 percent in 1987 to 38 percent in 1991.
 -- Eighty-nine percent of the companies surveyed still depend on the recommendations of the chairman to locate board members.
 -- The use of stock options, stock grants and pension/retirement income plans as benefits for outside directors continues to rise.
 Since 1973, Korn/Ferry has conducted an annual survey of the nation's leading corporations to track significant trends in corporate governance. The study is based on data provided by CEOs from the Fortune 500, the Fortune 500 service companies and 150 selected smaller companies.
 Copies of the 19th Annual Board of Directors Study are available from Korn/Ferry International's corporate communications department, 212-687-1834. The study covers a broad range of topics including management succession, board composition and board issues and policies.
 Headquartered in New York and Los Angeles, Korn/Ferry International specializes in management searches at the senior level. The firm maintains 16 offices in major U.S. cities, with a total of 42 offices worldwide in key business centers throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia/Pacific. In addition to serving clients' executive recruiting needs, Korn/Ferry provides related executive compensation and organizational consulting services.
 -0- 6/29/92
 /CONTACT: Stephanie Rosenfelt of Korn/Ferry International, 212-687-1834/ CO: Korn/Ferry International ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ECO


GK-TS -- NYFNS1 -- 4466 06/29/92 07:31 EDT
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Date:Jun 29, 1992
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