August 3, 2022

Board Diversity at S&P 500 Companies: Some Recent Progress

Spencer Stuart recently published its 2022 S&P 500 Board Diversity Snapshot, which notes some progress with increasing the diversity of boards of directors at the largest companies. The Snapshot notes that 72% of the incoming S&P 500 class of directors come from historically underrepresented groups — defined as individuals who self-identify in one or more of the following categories: women, underrepresented racial/ethnic group or the LGBTQ+ community. The Snapshots notes that year-over-year percentages grew only modestly from 2021, when 30% of directors were women and 21% were from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. In 2022, 32% of all S&P 500 directors are women and 22% come from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups — defined as Black or African American, Asian, Hispanic or Latino/a, two or more races/ethnicities, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

Spencer Stuart’s Snapshot notes that 50% of S&P 500 boards have adopted a policy like the Rooney Rule to include individuals from underrepresented groups in the candidate pool when recruiting directors, up from 39% last year. The Snapshot also notes disclosure about board diversity continues to improve, with 93% of S&P 500 companies disclosing their racial/ethnic composition, with 41% of those companies identifying directors from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups by name for those who volunteered to self-identify.

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– Dave Lynn