Signage is seen at the entrance to the WeWork offices on Broad Street in New York.
David & # 39; Dee & # 39; Delgado | Bloomberg | Getty Images
It's 2019, and a $ 47 billion company is announced with an all-male board.
The parent of WeWork formally known as We Company revealed that the board consists of an initial public offering prospectus early Wednesday. Among the seven members, not a single woman. The company was recently valued privately at $ 47 billion, although it is unclear whether they will receive the same price tag from the public markets.
As of last month, each S&P 500 company had at least one female director on the board. It has become a more prominent issue in recent years as large investors, such as BlackRock and State Street, have pushed back against companies with entirely male board members. Having a more diverse board of directors is seen as an opportunity for better return from shareholders.
In several weeks, WeWork is expected to launch a roadshow where it will meet investors and seek to drum up support for what is likely to be a multi-ticket sale of shares. Its insurance companies, including JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, have also contributed $ 6 billion to credit facilities, subject to the IPO.
WeWork declined to comment on the board's composition.
WeWork has several women in management positions. Rebekah Neumann ̵[ads1]1; co-founder and wife of CEO Adam Newmann – serves as the chief brand and impact officer. And Jennfer Berrent is co-president and chief executive.
Adam Neumann serves as Chairman of the Board. WeWork's board also includes Bruce Dunlevie, a founder of Benchmark Capital, as well as Ronald Fisher, deputy director of SoftBank, two of the company's largest investors. Other members include Lewis Frankfort, Steven Langman, Mark Schwartz and John Zhao.
WeWork has a three-class share structure and will be a controlled company, making it difficult for an outside investor to pay a mandate competition that will change the makeup of the board.
In the midst of a boom in the first public offerings in 2019, women have gained ground in the C-Suite. In the first half of the year, 13 women CEOs announced companies, representing about 15 percent of the total IPOs during that period. That's the highest proportion of all years back to at least 2014, an analysis from CNBC shows.
Historically, women were more absent in the boardrooms of companies that debuted. A study released last month by 2020 Women on Boards found that 37 percent of the 75 largest IPOs from 2014 to 2016 debuted with all male boards. But over the past few years, it has become a much less common occurrence, especially among larger private companies that have waited much longer to go public.
WeWork disclosed the prospectus after being registered confidentially. The company is making a debut in September, said people with knowledge of the timeline.