Ladies Gained Fewer US Firm Board Seats in 2022

September 29, 2022

By ALEXANDRA OLSON, AP Enterprise Author

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. corporations have added girls to their boards of director at a slower tempo this yr in contrast with final yr because the pandemic and a troublesome financial system shift priorities, in keeping with a brand new report launched Thursday.

Ladies have continued to make features, now holding a document 28% of board seats on the Russell 3000 index of publicly traded corporations, in keeping with an annual report by the advocacy group 50/50 Ladies on Boards, which used information from government information agency Equilar.

That is a 2.4% bounce from the 25.6% of seats held by girls in 2021, however the tempo was slower than the three% rise seen the earlier yr. And through the first half of 2022, the share of latest seats going to girls declined by 8 share factors in comparison with the previous six months.

Corporations have responded lately to stress from politicians and traders to nominate extra girls and minorities to their boards, which proceed to be overwhelmingly male and white.

Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, chief government officer of fifty/50 Ladies on Boards, cited California’s landmark regulation requiring a sure variety of girls on boards. However that regulation was dominated unconstitutional by a Los Angeles choose in Might as a result of it violated the correct to equal remedy. Supporters have nonetheless credited it with bolstering the ranks of on firm boards in California and past.

California corporations have the largest illustration of ladies administrators within the nation, at 34.1% — a 4.8% improve over 2021, in keeping with the report. Corporations in Washington state, which now has the same regulation, have the second highest at 30%.

When evaluating industries, power and monetary providers corporations had the fewest share of ladies on boards at 23% and 26%, respectively. Utilities had essentially the most at 32%.

The report mentioned the slower tempo of progress suggests corporations are contending with competing priorities, together with a risky financial system, the pandemic and stress to satisfy different social, environmental and governance targets, comparable to commitments to combat local weather change.

However Berkhemer-Credaire mentioned she is optimistic that corporations stay on monitor to realize gender equality within the close to future. On the present tempo, corporations would obtain gender parity on their boards in 10 years.

“The numbers are growing. That is vital to notice,” mentioned Berkhemer-Credaire. “I am not discouraged in any respect.”

Attaining racial range has proved harder, partially as a result of it’s has been troublesome get information on the variety of minority administrators.

However solely 27% of administrators serving on Russell 3000 corporations self-report their race and ethnicity, in keeping with the report from 50/50 Ladies on Boards. Of these, 16% recognized as folks of coloration in 2020, up from 12% in 2021.

“Extra board members have to self-identify their racial backgrounds,” Berkhemer-Credaire mentioned. “If board members do not self-identify … the statistics of percentages should not as correct as they could possibly be.”

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