FUND Community Institute continues to engage in dialogue and analysis around data from its landmark study, Perception versus Reality: Women and Change in the CDFI Industry (available at www.fundci.org). A recurring question from stakeholders and others engaged in the conversation relates to the prevalence and presence of women serving on CDFI boards. The findings suggest that opinions are divided and information unclear as to women’s role on CDFI boards.
One very positive finding was that the vast majority of CDFI Boards include women and a significant majority includes women of color: 93% of female respondents indicated that the Board of their CDFI includes at least one woman; with 72% reporting at least one woman of color on the Board.
To supplement this data point, researchers examined FUND Consulting client data on CDFI boards. In 2018, 35% of board members were women, a slight increase from 32% in 2015.
In terms of respondent opinions, 36.3% of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that women are equally represented as CDFI board members while 26.5% disagreed or strongly disagreed. A few notable findings:
- The largest group of 37% selected neutral. This may be an indication that a significant group of respondents did not have enough information to weigh-in on this question.
- Male respondents were more likely to agree or strongly agree that women are equally represented as CDFI board members (45%). Thirteen percent of male respondents disagreed that women are equally represented as CDFI board members, while 27% of female respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed.
- Of the respondents who disagreed or strongly disagreed, 100% of them indicated that women are under-represented as CDFI board members.
- Several key informants indicated that while women may hold board positions, they are less often Board leadership positions.
We will continue to explore this issue in our blog next month where we will present data for discussion on the role of women as leaders at CDFIs. In the meantime, we would love to hear from you! What can you tell us about women representation on your board?