Women now hold 28% of the corporate board seats, and women of color 6%, but the pace to diversify boards slows.
Dedicated to transparently tracking the progress of women on corporate boards, the 50/50 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index™ Annual Report compares the progress made from June 2021 to June 2022, tracking the percentage of women on Russell
3000 Index company boards — the largest public companies in the U.S. — by company size, state, and sector. We also report on the race and ethnicity of all directors and disseminate the data by racial groups and gender.
Using the data provided by our research partner, Equilar, nearly all the sectors and states we analyzed achieved or surpassed 25% of women on boards. The analysis also confirms that when women occupy leadership positions, whether CEO, Board Chair, or
Chair of Nominating Committee, diversity on boards progresses much more quickly than companies with no women in those roles.
While this is encouraging news, it is also tempered significantly by other findings.
As companies grapple with the ongoing effects
of the pandemic, an unpredictable economy, and developing ESG benchmarks, the number indicates that priorities may have shifted. While companies continue to appoint women to boards of directors, the pace has slowed compared with the previous year.
At the current pace, U.S. companies would not reach gender parity or diversity on boards for another decade.
We remain focused on the following gender balance and diversity goals. After meeting our initial goal of 20% women on boards, in 2020, Women on Boardslaunched our new goal of gender balance and diversity on boards, with women holding 50% of the board seats and women of color holding at least 20%of all board seats.
We are not wavering from these goals. Our mission remains to advance women in the pipeline and collaborate with corporations. As independent research conveys, diversity on boards improves profitability, productivity, and workforce engagement. These in turn, positively affect the communities a company serves, as well as how customers perceive a company.
A diverse board reflects an enlightened organization. It also is a valuable part of the solution to many of the very issues that companies are grappling with as far as economic, environmental, and social shifts.
You can help shine a light on this solution. To get involved, we encourage you to leverage the analysis, engage in the conversation to advance yourself and others and advocate for more women and women of color on corporate boards. We look forward to working together to advance the movement!