November 30, 2022

Board Diversity: Women’s Gains Stall at Big Banks

Big banks have been leading the way in board gender diversity – but this Bloomberg article says that the percentage of women on boards at these institutions has recently dropped. Here’s an excerpt:

Gains have stalled as women reached a third of seats, which researchers have said is a key level for gaining influence in the boardroom. Groups such as 50/50 Women on Boards are now trying to nudge representation higher, to reflect women’s near parity in the workplace overall.

The average number of women directors was unchanged at 4.7, out of an average board size of 13.7. The percentage of female directorships fell to 34.6% from 35%. That compares with 32% for the S&P 500 Index.

The drop was caused by 3 banks each appointing a new male director last month – which shows just how precarious diverse representation can be. Of the 18 banks in the index, Citigroup has the highest percentage of women on its board – 58%!

It is disappointing that Citibank’s composition is still so exceptional, not to mention that it’s problematic to be stuck in the mud on the basics as we look ahead to more leaders & stakeholders identifying as non-binary. Imagine if there were headlines whenever male representation surpassed 50%…which is the case for every bank in the index besides Citi.

Liz Dunshee