2020 Women on Boards Exceeds 20% National Campaign Goal

55% of Companies Achieve or Surpass Campaign Goal
Boston, MA
November 8

Women now hold 20.8% of the board seats of publicly traded companies, exceeding 2020 Women on Boards’ 20% national campaign goal, according to this year’s Gender Diversity Index of Fortune 1000 Companies released today.
The Gender Diversity Index (GDI) has tracked the number of women on boards since 2011 using the Fortune 1000 (F1000) list from 2010 as a baseline of comparison. This year, the GDI is comprised of 801 active companies. Companies fall off the list each year due to sales, mergers, bankruptcies, and other variables.
2020 Women on Boards ranks companies on a “W” (Winning) to “Z” (Zero) scale. Winning “W” Companies have 20% or greater women on their boards; Very Close “V” Companies have 11-19% women on their boards; Token “T” Companies have one woman; and, Zero “Z” Companies have no women.
Key findings of this year’s report include:

  • Women now hold 20.8% of board seats of GDI companies, an increase from 19.7% in 2016 and 14.6% in 2011, the first year of reporting. This compares to 19.8% women on the 2017 Fortune 1000 list, which includes 980 active companies.
  • Fifty-five percent of GDI companies (444 companies) are “W” companies; the number of “Z” companies fell to seven percent, or 55 companies. Despite these improvements, 29% of the‚Ä® GDI companies still have one or no women on their boards.
  • One hundred-twenty nine GDI companies added women to their boards this year. Of these, 69 (53%) did so by increasing the total number of board seats to accommodate new women appointees. The number of companies adding women without waiting to replace a man has been above 50% since we started tracking this trend in 2012.
  • Of the 55 GDI companies that have no women on their boards, 34 companies have never had a woman in the past 5 years. These companies come from a variety of industry sectors and states although 27% are industrial companies.

“In the seven years since we’ve been tracking this data, 422 Fortune 1000 companies have added 581 female board seats,” notes Stephanie Sonnabend, Co-founder and Chair, 2020 Women on Boards. “We have observed steady progress since we launched the 2020 Women on Boards campaign and are thrilled to have reached the goal early. Still, we are looking for all companies to embrace board diversity and have a minimum of 20% women on their boards.”
Malli Gero, campaign Co-Founder and President adds, “The campaign is working. Our early success shows that by speaking out about issues they care about, people can make a profound difference.”
About 2020 Women on Boards:  Founded in Boston in 2010, 2020 Women on Boards is the national campaign to increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020. 2020 Women on Boards is known for its research on the gender composition of boards of directors, including its proprietary 2020 Gender Diversity Directory, which ranks nearly 2000 companies on a “W” (winning) to “Z” (zero) scale. The list of Z companies with no women on their boards currently or for the past 6 years is available by contacting info@2020WOB.com. 2020 Women on Boards leverages its research with its annual National Conversation on Board Diversity, which will take place November 15th and 16th in cities across the U.S. For more information visit www.2020wob.com.