Boardroom Diversity Still Lagging

August 20, 2013 – According to a recent report released by the Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD), women and minorities have made no real gains in the boardrooms of corporate America. The study, titled Missing Pieces: Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards, 2012 Alliance for Board Diversity Census, in the Fortune 100, women and minorities remain vastly underrepresented at the decision-making tables of corporate boardrooms, with white/Caucasian men comprising nearly 70 percent of the 1,214 seats. The trend is similar in the Fortune 500, with white/Caucasian men accounting for 73.3 percent of the total 5,488 board seats. Overall, there have been only very small gains in boardroom representation since the first ABD census of Fortune 100 board directors in 2004. Women and minorities also continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles in boardrooms. Among the five major categories assessed–board chair, lead director, audit committee chair, nomination/governance committee chair, and compensation committee chair–women and minority men experienced small increases in leadership positions on boards. Minority women were the only group that did not make any gains in leadership positions. “We continue to find the research troubling,” said Ronald C. Parker, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council (ELC). The ABD is a collaboration of four leadership organizations: Catalyst, The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), and Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP). The Prout Group, Inc., an executive search firm, is also a founding partner of the ABD and serves as advisor and facilitator.

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