Twitter has been lambasted for not having any women on its board and has finally taken steps towards improving its gender balance.
Its S-1 filing showed that all its investors and most of its executives are male although a female lawyer, Vijaya Gadde has been hired. Gadde holds the position of general counsel, joining Twitter at the start of September.
Catalyst, a research firm based in the US published a research report showing that women held only 16.6 percent of board seats in 2012, 14.3 percent of Executive Officer positions and only 8.1 percent of top earner slots.
Women of colour held only 3.3 percent of board seats and over two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies had no women of colour board directors.
This study, and a similar study by Mckinsey showed that companies with significant numbers of top female managers do better, both in terms of organizational aspects such as innovation and accountability and also in terms of profit, relative to sector competitors.
Companies with the highest representation of women on their top management teams experienced better financial performance than companies with the lowest women’s representation.
This finding holds true for Return on Equity (ROE), which is 35 percent higher, and Total Return to Shareholders (TRS), which is 34 percent higher.
It seems odd that Twitter should shun balanced female representation on its board.
Pew Research has tracked the percentage of women and men who use social networking and found that the percentage of women using these sites has been consistently higher since 2008.