50/50 Women on Boards™ Annual Gender Diversity Index Study Reveals the Pace is Slowing for Women Joining Boards, However When Women Lead, Boards are More Diverse

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- 50/50 Women on Boards™ (50/50WOB), the leading non-profit education and advocacy campaign driving the movement toward gender balance and diversity on corporate boards, announced that as of June 30, 2022, women hold 28% of the Russell 3000 (R3K) company board seats, up from 25.6% in 2021 and 22.6% in 2020. However, the 2.4% increase from 2021 to 2022 has slowed in comparison to the 3% increase from 2020 to 2021. Additionally, new board seats that went to women declined by 8% in the first six months of 2022 compared to the last six months in 2021.

Women on Boards logo (PRNewsfoto/50/50 Women on Boards)
Women on Boards logo (PRNewsfoto/50/50 Women on Boards)

Using data provided by Equilar, the 50/50 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index™ shows that boards are more diverse when women hold the CEO, Board Chair, or Nominating Committee Chair positions. When all three positions are held by women, the percentage of women on those boards is 48.6%, nearing gender balance. Yet, few women are CEOs (7%) and Board Chairs (8%).

More key findings:

  • For the first time, the combined number of R3K companies that have gender-balanced (GB) or 3+ women directors surpassed 50%; 11% of companies have GB boards, up from 7% in Q2 2021, and 41% of companies have 3+ women, up from 33% in 2021.

  • Companies with zero women dropped to 2%, a significant improvement from 2017, when more than 50% of the companies had no women or just one woman on their boards.

  • Numbers for women of color are much lower at 6% of board directors. The report finds that numbers by race & ethnicity are lower than the percentages within the population.

  • 73% of directors (including White/Caucasian) must still self-identify their race and ethnicity in order to accurately track and help advance the percentage of people of color on boards. Currently, 55% of the men and 18% of the women have yet to self-identify.

  • Of the 25 states with more than 20 R3K companies, all but Florida and Tennessee, have more than 25% women on the boards. California leads with 34% board seats held by women, nearly a 5% increase over the previous year, and 20% of California R3K company boards are gender balanced.

"While much progress has been made, the slower pace for women joining boards may mean we won't achieve gender-balance until 2032," said Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO of 50/50 Women on Boards. "At this critical juncture, its vital that we continue to collaborate with corporations to advance women and women of color through sponsorship of their board journey. We will also intensify the need for our board-readiness educational programs for individuals and corporations to drive the movement, while reporting on the advancement of diversity and gender balance on boards."

To read the full report, please visit: https://5050wob.com/reports/.

About 50/50 Women on Boards (50/50WOB)

50/50 Women on Boards™ (50/50WOB) is the leading global nonprofit education and advocacy campaign driving the movement toward gender balance and diversity on corporate boards. Since 2011 the campaign has published its 50/50 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index™ directory and research reports to track the gender and racial diversity of Russell 3000 company board directors. Educational programs and advocacy efforts produced by 50/50WOB include its annual Global Conversation on Board Diversity, year-round board-readiness educational workshops, and the Networking Hub for alumni to connect to experts and corporate directors in support of their board journey. For more information, www.5050wob.com.

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SOURCE 50/50 Women on Boards