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Unprecedented increase in women on US boards

But there is still a long road to achieving gender parity.

By Institute of Directors
21 Apr 2022
read time
1 min to read
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2021 was the largest year-on-year increase of women on US corporate boards, according to a report from the US Women Business Collaborative and 50-50 Women on Boards.

Twenty-seven percent of board seats are now held by women, a 10.7% increase over the last five years.

The survey was based on companies in the Russell 3000 index of large, publicly-held companies.

However, at the current rate of change, women are still not expected to hold 50% of corporate board seats until 2030.

At the end of 2021, only 8% of companies had achieved gender parity on their boards. Seven per cent had woman board chairs and 6% were led by women CEOs.

Companies with a female chair or CEO were found to have a higher percentage of women on their boards than companies with a male chair and CEO.  

In New Zealand, the percentage of women on public sector boards passed 50% for the first time in 2021. An international survey by the Chartered Governance Institute in 2021 estimated the percentage of women across all New Zealand boards as 31.5%.

Additionally, according to Realindex Investments’ new study, Beyond lip service: tracking the impact of the gender diversity gap, when it comes to the link between gender balance, company performance and investment returns, the data is compelling: more gender diverse leadership teams generate better results. 

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