Significant Gaps Between Men, Women on Corporate Boards

Diversity among boards continues to be an issue in the United States, as many companies try to find ways to incorporate more women and minorities on their boards. Though forward strides have been made, recent data from Catalyst, a nonprofit organization focused on expanding opportunities for women in business, reveals more work needs to be done before women have the same representation on company boards as men.

The Catalyst report, 2015 Catalyst Census: Women and Men Board Directors, examined the representation of both men and women on S&P 500 boards of directors – and the findings show that women make up a mere 19.9 percent of board seats compared to 80.1 percent held by men. Additionally, women held 26.9 percent of new directorships compared to 73.1 percent of men.

The report also finds that 2.8 percent of companies had no women directors, 24.6 percent had one woman and 14.2 percent had 30 percent or more women on their boards.

“Our new Census shows little progress has been made at the board level, and even less progress has been made in the pipeline for women officers and directors—suggesting women are nowhere near the path to parity with men,” Deborah Gillis, Catalyst’s president and CEO, said in a release. “Men continue to be overrepresented, holding more than their fair share of board seats and, in some cases, all the board seats.”

According to separate data from Catalyst exploring women in S&P 500 mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, women made up just 3.7 percent of CEOs at these companies and 14.4 percent of executive/senior-level officials and managers.


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