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Expand chart
Data: BoardReady; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

There's a fresh data point on how corporate America fared during the pandemic year. Businesses with more diverse boards came out on top, according to data provided first to Axios by BoardReady, a nonprofit.

Why it matters: It adds to a ballooning body of research that shows that generally better business comes alongside boardrooms that are less old, male and white.

To be clear, the data doesn't prove companies did better because their boards were more diverse — there is a slew of other factors that play a role.

What they're saying: "There isn't enough data yet to show causation, but there's strong correlation," says Deanna Oppenheimer, founder of BoardReady.

By the numbers: As a cohort, the companies with more women on their boards saw the smallest year-over-year drop in revenue growth in 2020.

  • And a group of companies with board members whose ages spanned over 30 years saw an improvement in revenue growth compared to the prior year. The rest saw growth slow.
  • The businesses with at least 30% of seats filled by non-white executives saw a bigger jump in revenue growth. However, those that had between 20% and 30% non-white board executives fared worse than those with fewer non-white members.
  • BoardReady cautions that this data might be skewed because so few companies have enough non-white executives on their boards to meet that threshold.

What to watch: The data comes as there's a sea change of sorts in corporate America. Legislators, regulators and the Nasdaq are eyeing the makeup of corporations' top decision-makers — and pushing them to step it up on diversity.

  • "People used to ask the question: 'Why diversify?' The debate has now moved on from why to how," says Oppenheimer.

Where it stands: The numbers are improving, though still dismal.

Worth noting: BoardReady used revenue as a yardstick — rather than say, profits or EBITDA — to avoid the data being distorted by any adjustments companies made during the pandemic, the study says.

Go deeper: Read the report

Go deeper

By the numbers: Voting, redistricting wars fought in least-white states

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau, via Brookings Institution; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

Texas, Georgia, Florida and Arizona have been at the center of a partisan war over voting rules that could impact voters of color — they're also among the top 10 states with the lowest percentage of white residents.

The big picture: Every state has seen its non-Hispanic, white population decline during the past decade, according to an analysis of census data by the Brookings Institution's William Frey. The census is also expected to show the first overall decline in the U.S. white population.

What to watch for during earnings season

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Earnings season kicks off this week, and corporate America is expected to report a jump in profits. The results will provide important color on what's going on behind the scenes.

Why it matters: The rapid reopening of the economy has come with its complications including supply chain bottlenecks and inflationary pressures that have made operating a business anything but smooth.

Biden weighing tailored vaccine mandates

Vice President Kamala Harris resumed wearing a mask indoors on Tuesday. Photo: Ken Cedeno/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Biden administration officials are debating how to expand vaccine mandates for some federal civilian health care workers as they prepare to put more testing pressure — and requirements — on the rest of the federal workforce.

Why it matters: With the Delta variant surging across the country, officials are exploring ways to persuade or pressure Americans hesitant or downright opposed to getting a coronavirus vaccine.