Women In Technology’s The Leadership Foundry and American University Reveal Small Uptick in Women Serving on Corporate Boards in the DMV

Up to 15.8% from 14.7% in 2017, number of women serving on local boards lags behind national average

Falls Church, VA – November 7, 2018 – Women in Technology (WIT), the premier organization contributing to the success of professional women in the technology community in the Washington, DC area, along with American University’s School of Professional & Extended Studies today announced the results of The Leadership Foundry annual research report examining the representation of women on corporate boards. The results show a slow increase in the number of women serving on DC regional corporate boards.

The Leadership Foundry’s 8th annual report “Advancing Women to the Corporate Boardroom,” provides in-depth analysis of women board members from 170 publicly traded companies headquartered in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The findings showcase a slow uptick in women serving on corporate boards, growing from 14.7% in 2017 to 15.8% in 2018, but few companies achieved the “critical mass” (three or more women on the board) inclusion that would allow them to truly benefit from board gender diversity. Research suggests that one woman serving on a board simply does not address gender having the ability to influence. With at least three women, influence is possible and more recent research suggests that we must also be attentive to the roles these women assume on the board.

Most notably, the 2018 research reveals:

  • Women hold 15.8% (243) of the 1538 board seats at the 170 publicly held companies
    in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. region, a 1.1% increase from 2017.
  • Of those companies, 14.7% (25) had a critical mass of women (three or more)
    serving as board directors, compared to 12% in 2017.
  • Companies in the region continue to slowly and steadily add women to their boards. In 2018, there were only 34 companies in the entire region with no women serving on their board, down from 43 in 2017 and 89 in 2010.

“While we have increased the number of women serving on corporate boards in our region, we still have a long way to go to achieve parity.,” said Denise Hart, chair of The Leadership Foundry, a signature program of WIT, that concentrates on identifying and preparing women for corporate board opportunities.

Click HERE for a copy of the 2018 report and for more information about The Leadership Foundry, visit www.theleadershipfoundry.org.


About Women in Technology
Women in Technology (WIT) has the mission of advancing women in technology—from the classroom to the boardroom—by providing advocacy, leadership development, networking, mentoring and technology education for nearly 1000 members in the Washington, DC area. For more information, please visit, www.womenintechnology.org or connect with us via: Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

About The Leadership Foundry
To prepare women for positions as corporate board directors, WIT launched The Leadership Foundry, a program managed by WIT’s Planning Committee, for female executives interested in serving on a corporate board. Its goal is to prepare women for board service, provide opportunities to make connections and develop relationships that could lead to a board position. In 2011, The Leadership Foundry began providing networking and mentoring opportunities in addition to intensive board training sessions. Through The Leadership Foundry, WIT also helps fuel awareness of the lack of female representation on corporate boards and encourages local organizations to support board gender diversity. Increasing the number of women on public boards in the region will take time. For more information, please visit www.theleadershipfoundry.org or connect with us via @WIT_TLF.