gender diversity on boards
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50/50 Women On Boards Reveals Fourth Quarter 2023 Gender Diversity Index

50/50 Women on Boards™ (50/50WOB), the leading nonprofit education and advocacy campaign driving the movement toward gender balance and diversity on corporate boards, shared its Gender Diversity Index Fourth Quarter 2023 Findings. The organization announced that as of December 31, 2023, women hold only 29.4 percent of the Russell 3000 company board seats. This represents a 0.2 percent increase from the previous quarter in 2023. The full report is available for download here.

While the increase is minor, the report did shed light on more positive news. 39 percent of the 404 new director appointments were women, reflecting progress similar to the first quarter of 2023, and significantly higher than Q2 and Q3 when the percentage of women appointed to boards was 38 percent and 37 percent respectively. The report found that 82 percent of the seats gained by women were seats added to the board not replacing or waiting for a man to retire — which is typical when looking at one quarter. This declines to about 60 percent when comparing year-over-year.

Women hold only 29.4 percent of the Russell 3000 company board seats, representing a 0.2 percent increase from last quarter in 2023.

In Q4 2023, the number of gender-balanced boards increased by eight companies from the previous quarter. Boards with three or more women increased by two companies. However, the number of companies with zero women on boards decreased by three companies, while the number of companies with one woman or two women both decreased by 19 companies. These decreases indicate that companies with less diverse boards have a greater tendency to fall off the Russell 3000 list due to sales, mergers, or bankruptcy.

Gender diversity data

Using the data provided by Equilar, other significant Q4 2022 findings include:

  • In Q4 2023, the report showed some progress in board diversification based on those who self-identify – 37 percent of all directors disclosed their race and ethnicity, and of those that self-identified their race and ethnicity, women and men of color now hold 19.2 percent of board seats, up from 18.1 percent in Q3 2023.
    • Achieving the organization’s goal of 50 percent and 20 percent of women of color on public company boards requires continued efforts to ensure equitable inclusion, particularly concerning race and ethnicity. Women of color hold 7.7 women of board seats, while men of color hold 11.5 percent, resulting in an increase from 18.1 percent to 19.2 percent, indicating that men of color are gaining more seats than women of color.
  • Notable findings include higher representation of women in the Consumer Cyclical and Consumer Defensive sectors, both exceeding 30 percent, while Financial Services and Energy sectors lag around 26 percent. The data underscores variations in gender balance across industries, shedding light on areas where improvements are needed.
  • State-level data offers insights into gender diversity, as reflected by the percentage of women on boards and gender-balanced boards in the 25 states with more than 20 publicly traded companies.
    • California leads with the highest female representation at 33.9 percent, accompanied by a robust 22.7 percent GB companies. In contrast, states like Florida and Utah exhibit lower percentages of women, accompanied by lower GB percentages. Noteworthy trends include Maryland, Michigan and Utah experiencing declines in the percentage of women, while California and Ohio remained at. In contrast, the remaining 20 states demonstrated slight improvements in gender diversity metrics.

About 50/50 Women on Boards (50/50WOB)

50/50 Women on Boards™ (50/50WOB) is the leading global nonprofit education and advocacy campaign driving the movement toward gender balance and diversity on corporate boards. Since 2010 the campaign has published its 50/50 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index™ directory and research reports to track the gender and racial diversity of Russell 3000 company board directors. Educational programs and advocacy efforts produced by 50/50WOB include its annual Global Conversation on Board Diversity™, year-round board-readiness educational workshops for individuals and corporate groups, and the Networking Hub for alumni to connect to experts and corporate directors in support of their board journey. For more information visit:

You can read more about gender diversity and inclusion in this article.

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