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Equilar GDI: Board Diversity Remains a Priority During Pandemic

REDWOOD CITY, CA (May 28, 2020)—Women now hold 22% of all Russell 3000 directorships, according to the latest Equilar Gender Diversity Index (GDI). This acceleration moved the needle, pushing the GDI to 0.44, where 1.0 represents parity among men and women on corporate boards.

Recently, there has been a push across the public and private sectors, as well as state legislators, for greater diversity on boards. As we move into the new decade, the GDI has reached the highest point it has ever been. Evidently, companies have been working to make changes to their board composition.

“The increase women in directorships positions is wonderful to see,” said Brigid Rosati, Director of Business Development at Georgeson. “It is also interesting to note that in Q1 2020, 129 female directors were taking a board seat for this first time. This number has remained consistent over the past year, which indicates that more women are being considered for board seats.”

The unique situation that companies are facing today due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have an effect on board composition. However, board composition still remains a top priority.

“In the past few months, the primary focus of most boards has been on guidance and oversight with respect to issues such as cash flow, working conditions, supply chains and customer relationships, as well as the company’s risks and opportunities in connection with the reopening of the economy and beyond,” said Susan Angele, Senior Advisor, Board Governance at The KPMG Board Leadership Center. “Board recruiting has not stopped in this environment, and from what we are seeing, the interest in gender diversity continues to be high.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • California, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois and Texas have some of the highest proportions of women on boards

  • 129 companies have boards with between 40% and 50% women, up from 114 companies last quarter

  • 60 Russell companies 3000 have at least 50% women on their boards

Please click here for more details and commentary on the latest Gender Diversity Index.

About Equilar Gender Diversity Index

The Equilar GDI reflects changes on Russell 3000 boards on a quarterly basis as cited in 8-K filings to the SEC. Most indices that track information about board diversity do so annually or even less frequently, and typically with a smaller sample size, sometimes looking back more than a full year by the time the information is published. While this data is reliable and accurate, the Equilar GDI aims to capture the influence of the increasing calls for diversity from investors and other stakeholders in real time.

The Equilar GDI is powered by Equilar BoardEdge, a database of more than 500,000 public company board members and executives. BoardEdge includes exclusive features that show how board members and companies are connected to each other, as well as the Equilar Diversity Network (EDN), a “registry of registries” of board-ready executives from leading ethnic and gender diversity partnerships, organizations, and publications.

About Equilar

Equilar is the leading provider of Board Intelligence Solutions. Its data-driven platforms, BoardEdge and Insight, provide tools for board recruiting, business development, executive compensation and shareholder engagement. Companies of all sizes, including 70% of the Fortune 500 and institutional investors representing over $20 trillion in assets, rely on Equilar for their most important boardroom decisions. Equilar also hosts industry-leading board education symposiums, conducts comprehensive custom research services and publishes award-winning thought leadership. Founded in 2000, Equilar is cited regularly by Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other leading media outlets. Visit to learn more.

For more information, contact:

Amit Batish
Manager, Content & Communications
Equilar, Inc.

Media Inquiries

(650) 241-6655

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