Women still have a hard time claiming top leadership positions at the world's largest companies, despite the fact that there are a number of qualified candidates. "Over half of college graduates today are women -- and well over half of the best graduates are women," said former Ernst & Young CEO Jim Turley. "If we're going after the best talent, we need to put more women on boards." Companies may be able to help women advance by considering nontraditional candidates for board posts and by setting goals for the gender makeup of their boards.

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