The MWi research showed the percentage of women directors exceeded 25% for the first time, reaching 26.3% (up from 23.3% in 2021 and surpassing MWi’s goal of reaching 25% by 2025).
In this year’s report, MWi highlights the progress made in its 20 years of working to increase diversity on the boards of Wisconsin’s top 50 public companies (WI 50).
Key findings from the 2022 MWi Research Report include:
- In the past two decades, the number of women holding director seats increased fourfold, from 30 to 120 women; while the number of ‘Power of 3’ companies increased sevenfold, from 3 to 22 companies.
- Women of color hold 5.7% of director seats, up from 4.5% in 2021. While this year’s research showed an overall increase, progress remains slow, particularly for Hispanic/Latino women.
- Public companies with three or more female directors saw a double-digit percentage point jump. This is a record-setting year-to-year increase in the ‘Power of 3’ companies in the state (from 34% in 2021 to 44% in 2022) following a multi-year trend to add additional women directors. Studies show at least three women directors is the critical mass needed to maximize diversity benefits.
- Percentage of women on Wisconsin’s top 50 private company boards remained the same. In 2022, womenhold 20.5% of director seats, largely unchanged from 20.7% in 2021. Wisconsin exceeds the national average for private companies (14%) but falls further behind progress shown by Wisconsin’s public companies.
“MWi has come a long way since the late Betty Quadracci and other forward-thinking executive women recognized the need for an organization of professional women dedicated to changing the face and quality of leadership in the Wisconsin business community. We have made progress in furthering our mission to place more women and underrepresented minorities on boards, but there is still work to be done, as we shared in today’s report,” said Kim Stoll, MWi board chair and vice president of sales and marketing for Badger Meter. “As evidenced in our research, companies across our state are taking deliberate action to further diversify their boards of directors. Nasdaq’s new listing rules announced in 2021 are a game-changer in corporate governance that will change the face and quality of board leadership for future generations.”
In August 2021, the SEC approved new landmark Nasdaq listing rules on gender diversity, requiring all Nasdaq-listed companies to publish standardized board-level diversity statistics and disclosures related to the objective of two diverse directors beginning in 2023.
To view the complete report, click here.