REDWOOD CITY, CA (December 18, 2018)—Female representation on Russell 3000 boards has now reached 18%–an increase from 16.5% at the end of 2017, according to the latest Equilar Gender Diversity Index (GDI). This acceleration moved the needle, pushing the GDI to 0.36, where 1.0 represents parity among men and women on corporate boards.
There are various factors that are driving progress towards gender equality on boards, including pressure from investors and proxy advisors and, more recently, legislative efforts. California recently passed a piece of legislation that will require public companies headquartered in California to have a minimum of one female on its board of directors by December 31, 2019. That minimum will be raised to at least two female board members for companies with five directors or at least three female board members for companies with six or more directors by December 31, 2021.
“The law is a reflection of a common concern—impatience with the slow pace of change in the boardroom,” said Susan Angele, Senior Advisor of Board Governance at KPMG’s Board Leadership Center. “Boards today need a broad range of perspectives around the table, and the spotlight on gender diversity will continue to increase—not only in California but with institutional investors and other stakeholders.”
Other key findings from the Q3 2018 GDI include:
35.6% of new directors were women in Q3
There are a total of 37 Russell 3000 boards that have reached gender parity
504 Russell 3000 boards still have zero female directors
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