The intense focus on board diversity from a variety of stakeholders over the last several years has spurred many companies to examine the composition of their boards and to take action to diversify their boardrooms. While the boards of U.S. companies have slowly diversified over time, the pace of diversification has accelerated since 2018 as a result of legislation and other initiatives, particularly following the calls for racial justice in 2020.
In this report we examine these recent trends in board diversity and other developments in 2022 with a particular focus on efforts to increase racial and ethnic board diversity. In doing so, we examine the board racial/ethnic diversity disclosure practices and resulting demographic data gleaned from the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 100 Index (S&P 100) and the technology and life sciences companies included in the 2022 Fenwick-Bloomberg Law Silicon Valley 150 List (SV 150).
Key Takeaways Include:
- All of the S&P 100 and 83% of the SV 150 companies provided racial/ethnic board diversity data in their proxy statements for the 2022 proxy season.
- The majority of companies in each group disclosed the racial/ethnic composition of their boards by specific racial/ethnic categories.
- Racial and ethnic minorities have experienced recent gains in board representation, but still face many of the same challenges encountered by women.
- One can extrapolate even from the limited number of companies that disclose racial and ethnic diversity information that both the S&P 100 and the SV 150 are significantly far from proportional board representation for racial and ethnic minorities compared to the national workforce at-large.
- The demand for greater diversity on U.S. corporate boards and related disclosure of such information will likely continue until equitable gender, racial and ethnic representation is achieved.
Download the full report here.