More women and minorities are on the boards of Fortune 500 companies than ever before—up 24% since 2020.
- The number of women and minority groups on Fortune 500 boards has reached the highest percentage ever at 44.7%, according to a Deloitte study.
- White men still occupy 55.3% of corporate board seats, while women of all races and ethnicities make up 30%.
- Black women saw the largest increase of representation at 47%. In the last two years, black women have been appointed to 86 board seats, Asian and Pacific Islander women 24 seats, white women 95, and Latinas 14, Forbes reports.
- While the increased diversity represents progress, Catalyst CEO Lorraine Hartion, who works to assist companies in increasing inclusivity toward women, says, “We have a way to go until boards truly represent the population and the people they serve.”
Why it’s news
Large companies have been making intentional efforts at bringing in women and minorities onto boards in order to bring varying life experiences and points of view into corporate decision-making and because there is immense political and social pressure to do so. For many, the goal is to have board makeup reflect the demographics of the U.S.
“At the current pace, it would take the boards of Fortune 500 companies more than two decades for board representation to match the current level of representation of individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the population,” the report says.
Of the 500 companies, 218 have boards of more than 40% white men. The amount of women and underrepresented groups on boards has grown considerably since 2020—jumping from 38% to 44.7%.
Deloitte noted that Latina women were the least represented of their demographic despite being one of the fastest-growing demographics in the U.S. Representation of Latino and Hispanic men has also slowed, with just a 10.5% increase, the smallest increase since 2020, Forbes reports.
Many boards have expressed frustration at the inability to find enough qualified women and minorities to serve despite significant recruitment efforts.