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50/50 Women on Boards™ Annual Gender Diversity Index™ Study Reveals the Pace Continues to Decline for Women Joining

50/50 Women on Boards™ Annual Gender Diversity Index™ Study Reveals the Pace Continues to Decline for Women Joining Boards

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- 50/50 Women on Boards™ (50/50WOB), the leading non-profit education and advocacy campaign driving the movement toward gender balance and diversity on corporate boards, announced that as of June 30, 2023, women hold 29% of the Russell 3000 company board seats, an increase of only one percentage point from 28% in Q2 2022 and the smallest gain in over five years. However, corporations with gender-balanced boards or three or more women on their boards increased by three percentage points from the previous year to 55%.

After a 3% increase from 2020 to 2021, growth slowed to 2% in 2022 and further to just 1% in 2023.

Using the data provided by Equilar, the 50/50 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index™ reveals that boards exhibit greater diversity "When Women Lead" and hold the position of CEO, Board Chair or Nominating Committee Chair. When women hold all three positions, the percentage of women on those boards is 48%, nearing gender parity. Of the 27 companies in this category, 63% are gender balanced, compared to companies where women hold no leadership positions and have only 6% gender-balanced boards.

More key findings:

  • Unique Directors: 25% of women on boards serve on multiple Russell 3000 boards. This is even more true for women of color, where 26% of women of color are on multiple boards, with nearly a third of African American and Hispanic women on multiple boards.
  • Board Rankings: 12% of companies have gender-balanced boards (up from 11% in 2022), and 43% of companies have 3+ women (up from 41% in 2022). Companies with all male boards (zero women) maintained at 2%.
  • Race & Ethnicity: Of the 36% of directors who self-identify their race and ethnicity, women of color account for 7% of the seats (up from 6% in 2022), and men of color nearly 11% (up from 10% in 2022).
  • Sector: Every sector has a minimum of 25% women directors, with Utilities, Consumer Cyclical, Consumer Defensive and Real Estate exceeding 30%.
  • State: Among the 25 states with at least 20 Russell 3000 companies headquartered in the state, all but Nevada have more than 25% women on their boards. Four states, California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Washington, surpass 30% women on boards. California is leading with 34% women on boards and 23% gender-balanced boards.
  • Company Size: The percentage of women on the top Russell 1000 company boards is nearly 32%.
  • Exchanges: Among the top stock exchanges, the percentage of women on NYSE company boards is 30% and 28% on Nasdaq company boards.

"For more than a decade, 50/50 Women on Boards has committed to advancing gender diversity on corporate boards. Our goal is for women to hold 50% of the corporate board seats, with women of color holding at least 20% of all seats. While we've made notable progress, the recent decline in women joining boards is cause for concern," said Heather Spilsbury, COO/CMO of 50/50WOB. "After a 3% increase from 2020 to 2021, growth slowed to 2% in 2022 and further to just 1% in 2023. At this rate, gender parity won't be achieved until 2044, underscoring the need for accelerated change by organizations like ours committed to advancing the pipeline of women."

To read the full report, please visit: To help advance the movement, please consider making a $50 donation to enable 50/50WOB to elevate women in the pipeline to corporate board service:

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 training programs 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

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SOURCE 50/50 Women on Boards

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