Gender representation on S&P 500 boards reach new milestone
Nearly a third of all board directors among S&P 500 companies are women.
Driving the news: Women now represent 32% of all S&P 500 directors — the most ever. That's up from 30% last year, and an 86% increase over the past decade, when the makeup of women on boards was just 17%, a new study from Spencer Stuart, a leadership consulting firm, finds.
- All S&P 500 boards now have at least one woman director: 98% have two or more; and 81% have three or more.
Why it matters: Boards are playing a bigger role in ensuring more diversity inside businesses — especially for leadership pipelines.
- "They often encourage the CEO to support the career development of executives from historically underrepresented groups by ensuring they gain exposure to the company’s board and sponsoring up-and-coming leaders for external board opportunities," the study says.
What to watch: Companies have also stepped up adding younger board members as well as directors from other historically underrepresented groups over the past decade.
- 22% of all directors are from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups — defined as Black or African American, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, two or more races/ethnicities, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.
- Among new directors added in 2022, that number jumps to 46%.
- "Next-gen" directors, aged 50 and younger, account for 18% of new board members in 2022, up from 16% in 2021.
Methodology: The U.S. Spencer Stuart Board Index examined the latest proxy statements from 489 companies filed between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022.