Equal representation for women and minorities on executive boards is still decades away

Equal representation for women and minorities on executive boards is still decades away

A new report has found that not a single Fortune 100 or 500 company is representative of the demographics of the United States, with the benchmarks of 50% for women, 13% for African American/Black people, 18% for Hispanic/Latino(a), and 6% for Asian/Pacific Islander, as per the most recent United States Census Bureau

Minority women are more than 20% of the US adult population, however it will take until 2046 for them to be represented on the boards of Fortune 100 companies. 

 “Missing Pieces Report: A Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards” is a study published each year by the Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD) in collaboration with Deloitte. The report analyses the make up of both Fortune 100 and 500 companies. 

Key findings of the report include:

  • Among Fortune top 100 companies, the total number of companies with greater than 40% diversity increased from 46 companies in 2018 to 53 in 2020. In other words, over half have 40% of their boards composed of women and minorities.
  • The total number of Fortune 100 companies with over 50% diversity on their boards has nearly doubled in two years – to 19 in 2020.
  • Among Fortune 500 companies, African American/Black women gained 29 seats in 2020, an increase of 18.8% from 2018. African American/Black board members now hold 8.7% of seats. 
  • Hispanic/Latina women gained 14 seats in 2020, and Hispanic/Latino(a) board members now hold 4.1% of seats. 
  • Asian/Pacific Islander women gained 28 seats, an increase of 45.9% from 2018, giving them a total of  4.6%. 
  • White women made the largest strides, increasing by 20.6%.

The study reveals that while women and minorities have made more progress in board representation in the last four years than between 2010 and 2016, the average growth for minority representation on boards is less than 0.5% per year. 

“While we applaud the progress that businesses have made in increasing board diversity, we need to ensure representation is holistic and inclusive for all – not just for one segment of an underrepresented population,” said Linda Akutagawa, chair for the Alliance for Board Diversity and president and CEO, LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics).

“Despite heightened focus on board diversity the past year, not a single Fortune 500 boardroom is representative of the population of the US.”

Read the full report on Deloitte’s website

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