In a panel at the recent Housing Leadership Summit, David Chun, founder and CEO of Equilar, shared some statistics about women in housing showing that home builders are behind on board diversity.
Chun reports that 11 of 19 publicly traded home builders have either zero or one woman on the board. The average number of women per home builder board is 1.2, compared to 2.3 for the Equilar 500, which is a list of the largest US companies by revenue.
The shortage of women isn’t limited to boards either. According to the National Association of Women in Construction, women make up only about 9% of the overall number of workers in the construction industry. At a time when labor is one of the housing community’s biggest concerns, this could point to a very underutilized asset.
Cory Boydston, CFO at Ashton Woods Homes, partnered with Leigh Austin, principal at Arroyo Capital and Cindy Gilmore, senior vice president at Hearthstone, to put together the Women’s Housing Leadership Group. The group’s mission is to provide mentorship, leadership, professional support, and a platform for shared knowledge between executive women leaders in the housing industry. In this short video, Boydston and Austin share their passion and direction for the group.
Today, the group has nearly 200 members and continues to attract strong interest. Through national and regional get-togethers, the Women’s Housing Leadership Group intends to act as a forum to share experiences and promote the professional experience of its members to increase participation on boards and panels.
At the conference Chun also pointed out that McKinsey & Company did a study of 1,000 enterprises that shows that more board diversity meant better profitability – up to 21% improvement. The Women’s Housing Leadership Group not only could provide the opportunity for a new labor stream but also a more profitable one.