This year’s Board Monitor report explores how boards sought to diversify in 2019—with impressive gains for women but minimal changes for people of color—and added a mix of new and familiar expertise. As boards seek to help their companies through the greatest global economic contraction in a century, a pandemic, and ongoing global demands to end racial injustice and inequality, these are directors with valuable and fresh perspectives.
- Boards around the world faced growing responsibilities, new challenges, and the need for improved dynamics even before COVID-19, the resulting economic downturn, and the increased focus on addressing racial injustice.
- Looking at director appointments last year at some of the largest companies in the United States, we see boards prioritizing gender diversity while also relying on individuals with tested experience.
- We expect that boards significantly increase their efforts toward greater racial and ethnic diversity—in particular, to make boards themselves and senior leadership teams more representative of and equitable to the employees, customers, shareholders, and communities they serve.
- We expect to see the impact of a tumultuous 2020 on board recruitment data we present in our 2021 Board Monitor reports. One thing the pandemic has reminded us is how deeply interconnected economies and societies around the globe are.