The recent Egon Zehnder report shows there is still much to be done on diversity on boards but the recent ISS report is the more telling.
ISS looked at board effectiveness by focusing on time spent by independent directors in their role. It showed a clear correlation between time spent and effectiveness. This should not be a surprise but it begs the question why independent directors don't spend more time on "board business". The primary issue seems to be the apparent lack of qualified independent directors with time to invest.
If you are a serving CEO or CFO how much time will your board allow you to spend working as a board member of another company? Answer - as little as possible.
If you are recently retired CEO or CFO who has just cashed in valuable stock options how much time does your partner want you to spend working for another company? Answer - see above.
The truth is there are relatively few qualified independent directors out there who are prepared to devote the time necessary to make a difference and those few are in high demand.
Developing a breed of qualified independent directors without time constraints is something institutional investors need to address as a collective body.
Too many white males on too many boards