National Nonprofit Campaign 2020 Women on Boards Congratulates Russell 3000 Companies With 20% Women Directors on Corporate Boards

May 28

Today, 798 public companies with at least 20% of their board seats held by women in 2018, are being recognized by national nonprofit “2020 Women on Boards.” Each company’s Chief Executive Officer receives a congratulatory letter and a “W” certificate, as a “Winning Company,” applauding his or her commitment to gender diversity on their boards of directors.

Every year, 2020 Women on Boards tracks the progress of all corporations on the Russell 3000, comprised of the 3,000 largest U.S.-traded stocks, representing about 98% of all U.S. incorporated equity securities. The nonprofit organization monitors and publishes how many women are on each board of directors, and ranks each company from "W" for “Winning,” with at least 20%, to "Z" for Zero, meaning no women directors. Half the Russell 3000 companies still have only one woman director or none. The 2018 nationwide statistic was 17.7%, a gain of 469 board seats for women, showing a definite improvement over the previous year at 16.0%. Of those, 295 were new seats created by expanding the board, not seats previously held by men. In total for 2018, among the Russell 3000 companies, there were approximately 25,250 board seats, with only 4,477 held by women.

The website provides easy-access to the Gender Diversity Directory including every Russell 3000 company, searchable by state, industry, company name, or its rank from “W to Z,” showing number of women on boards. Also 2020WOB publishes its Gender Diversity Index citing trends for the year, comparisons of larger companies vs. smaller, and private companies that went IPO with no women on board.

“We spotlight ‘W’ companies because positive reinforcement helps other CEOs see that companies they admire have added more women directors to the board. Today, CEOs realize that shareholders as well as consumers and employees, are clamoring for all companies to make gender diversity on their boards a priority,” explained Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO of 2020 Women on Boards, based in Los Angeles.

“Every year, when CEOs receive their ‘W’ certificates, we are pleased that many produce their own press releases announcing the honor, and they attach our 2020WOB logo to their websites. This attests to the great power of recognition. We are happy to be likened to the ‘Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval’ for enlightened companies that have led the way as positive role models for many more to follow.

“The business case is already undeniable, thanks to independent research studies by Credit Suisse and McKinsey that called out gender diversity as a key factor in profitability, productivity and workforce engagement among several thousand companies they analyzed. Since inception almost ten years ago, our 2020WOB campaign has had a major impact on public awareness. Our goal is to exceed 20% of all board seats in the U.S. by 2020.  After 2020, we will continue encouraging progress until women reach parity in the boardroom.”

On January 1, 2019, California passed an unprecedented law titled SB 826, requiring publicly traded corporations headquartered in California to include at least one woman on their boards of directors by the end of 2019. By the end of July 2021, a minimum of two women must sit on boards with five members, and at least three women on boards with six or more members. As a result by 2021 in California alone, there will be 1,060 new seats added for women directors. Other states have since filed similar bills in 2019—New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois and Maryland. 

“Women don’t want to have laws mandating more of our gender serve on boards, but when companies are not responding to the wishes of their own shareholders, something proactive has to be done. The law always lags behind the need, and some states are stepping up,” added Berkhemer-Credaire.  “At 2020 Women on Boards, we are winning the hearts and minds of corporate leaders and board members who realize the return on investment. We thank the ‘W’ CEOs for showing the world that having women on boards is a global business imperative as well as benefit to their own companies.”
2020 Women on Boards (2020WOB) is a global education and advocacy campaign committed to building public awareness and momentum toward achieving at least 20% of all public company board seats to be held by women by the year 2020, the milestone 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, women’s right to vote. The year 2020 is also the 10th anniversary of the founding of 2020 Women on Boards.

In just nine short years the organization has gained national and global influence as a respected brand with a track record as a positive game-changer for the mission. Established in Boston, and now located in Los Angeles, 2020WOB is a 501c3 is an educational nonprofit, but not a membership organization.
For Interviews:
Named CEO of 2020WOB in January, 2018, Betsy is responsible for the global 2020WOB nonprofit public awareness campaign, to educate, advocate and collaborate, toward the goal of at least 20% women on public company boards. 2020WOB produces the National/Global Conversation on Board Diversity events held in 32 cities throughout the U.S. also London, Madrid, Mexico City, and Hong Kong, all on same day Nov. 21, 2019.

For 17 years, Betsy chaired the Los Angeles/Orange County chapter of WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD), a global membership network of women serving on public and private boards. She is the author of “The Board Game – How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors" published in 2013, and her upcoming second book “Winning the Board Game—How Women Directors Make the Difference” will be published in summer 2019.

A career-long champion of women in business, Betsy has owned Berkhemer Clayton Retained Executive Search for 25 years in Los Angeles. She has presented many workshops for corporations, nonprofits and universities: Bank of America, University of Washington (Seattle), UCLA Anderson Business School, AIG, Citigroup, Reed Smith, Sempra Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.
Tyra Butler, 2020 Women on Boards, 323-416-2020