Big jump in women on tech company boards

Women directors can have a profound effect on reshaping business


A news story about Twitter's all-male board helped boost number of women directors.

Tom Foremski

The number of women on the boards of tech companies has more than tripled since 2013 according to analysis of 100 public technology companies by Redfin, a national real estate brokerage.

The study says that tech company boards began to change because of a newspaper story. The New York Times pointed out that Twitter, which was preparing to go public in 2013, had an all-male board.

Since that time, tech companies filing for an IPO have tripled the number of women appointed to their boards. The national average is one woman for every six men.

But in the space of three years, this ratio for the technology industry changed threefold, to one woman for every two men: not at parity, but evidence that the technology industry's gender diversity can increase significantly.

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In a blog post, Glenn Kelman, Redfin's CEO, and Bridget Frey, Redfin's CTO, argue that even though women will continue to be in the minority on boards, their influence will be larger than their numbers.

It's worth noting that the presence of just one different perspective affects a group's decision-making. This effect, known as a "panel effect," is well-established ... the influence of the member in the minority is strong: what matters is just hearing another point of view.

They point out that, "Boards hire CEOs, set executive pay, investigate high-level discrimination complaints and approve executive promotions."

The rise in diverse appointments could re-shape an entire generation of new businesses in profound ways

Read about Redfin's recent appointment of board directors Julie Bornstein and Robert Bass.

How to Triple the Number of Women Appointed to Boards in Three Years - @Redfin