Qualtrics and theBoardlist Study Reveals How CEOs and Founders View Gender Diversity in Boards of Directors

CEOs’ biggest focus is adding diverse expertise to their boards,
but they find challenges in sourcing gender diverse slate

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Qualtrics, the world’s leading enterprise insight platform, today
released the results of a study performed in partnership with
theBoardlist, a curated marketplace for female board candidates,
revealing the current state of tech company private boards, along with
attitudes and priorities of CEOs and founders toward gender diversity in
their boardrooms. The study sampled CEOs and founders who are backed by
over 30 venture capital firms, with findings shared at the Qualtrics
Insight Summit in Salt Lake City by theBoardlist founder Sukhinder Singh
Cassidy and Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith.

The partnership and study are part of theBoardlist’s ongoing efforts to
take a data-driven approach to increasing diversity at the executive
level of technology companies. Results of the study — which is
theBoardlist’s first research effort into the sentiment of CEOs — reveal
that adding particular expertise to the board is generally rated as
highly important — 68 percent of respondents rated it as extremely or
very important.

These results point to the fact that bringing diverse expertise into the
boardroom is foremost on CEOs’ minds, as opposed to gender diversity on
its own. Results show that CEOs are barbelled on the importance of
gender diversity itself, with 38 percent reporting it is very important
and 38 percent reporting it is less important.

While 74 percent of CEOs believe that gender diversity can lead to
enhanced board effectiveness and 65 percent believe it can enhance
company performance, the survey revealed there are challenges in
sourcing diverse candidates. Respondents said the top three barriers
they faced when trying to enlist female board members were the amount of
time to source a gender diverse slate of candidates (79 percent),
finding female candidates with the right experience (73 percent) and
finding female candidates that will fit their board’s culture (65

One of the primary barriers is the belief that enough qualified female
candidates do not exist. Eighty percent of respondents said they believe
there are sufficient numbers of qualified male candidates for their
board, while only 50 percent believe there are sufficient numbers of
qualified female candidates.

“It’s no secret that women represent a very small portion of board
directors in the tech industry, yet there is growing acknowledgement
that diversity in the boardroom can strengthen business performance,”
Cassidy said. “Our goal is to change the perception that there are not
enough board-ready women in the marketplace by surfacing the wealth of
talent that exists. theBoardlist provides an efficient way for CEOs to
source exceptional women with the deep expertise and experience CEOs
tell us they’re looking for in their next board director.”

theBoardlist is a curated talent marketplace for the tech community to
recommend, discover and connect highly qualified women leaders with
private and public board opportunities at scale. Today, theBoardlist has
over 1,000 highly qualified women in its community, endorsed by over 200
CEOs, business leaders and investors from across several industries, and
40 board searches in progress. The organization estimates that 75 to 78
percent of privately-funded tech company boards do not have a female

“We’re thrilled to help theBoardlist complete this study and bring
attention to this issue,” said Kim Scott, Qualtrics executive coach and
senior advisor. “Understanding the perceptions, challenges and current
state of women in the boardroom is a critical step and we’re grateful to
be working with theBoardlist to provide a solution and a resource for
companies who seek diversity in their boardroom.”

About Qualtrics

Qualtrics is a rapidly growing software-as-a-service company and the
provider of the world’s leading insight platform. More than 8,500
enterprises worldwide, including half of the Fortune 100 and 99 of the
top 100 business schools, rely on Qualtrics technology. Our solutions
make it fast and easy to capture customer, employee and market insights
in one place. These insights help our clients make informed, data-driven
business decisions. Global enterprises, academic institutions and
government agencies use Qualtrics to collect, analyze and act on voice
of the customer, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, 360-degree
reviews, brand, market, product concept and employee feedback. To learn
more, please visit www.qualtrics.com.

About theBoardlist

theBoardlist is a curated talent marketplace for business leaders to
recommend, discover and connect highly qualified women with private and
public board opportunities at scale. To learn more visit www.theBoardlist.com.


Method Communications
Staley White, 801-461-9769
Head of Global Insights, Qualtrics