While almost every board in the S&P 500 now has at least one woman, far fewer have a critical mass. The overall percentage of women who sit in these powerful corporate director seats has moved at a glacial pace over the years, ticking up from 15 percent of all board seats at S&P 500 companies a decade ago to 19 percent last year.
Just ask Liz Dolan, the lone female Quiksilver director who recently resigned from that company’s board. Writing in Fortune, she described publicly how she believes things would have gone better had she not been the only woman in the room. “What I learned is that even when a woman earns a seat at the table,” she wrote, “the men can put you in a soundproof booth.”