2018 Gender Diversity Index Key Findings

Big Companies Get it. Small Companies Don’t.
Of the 2835 active R3000 companies, women now hold 17.7% of the board seats, an increase from 16.0% in 2017 when there were 2871 active companies. In 2018, the percentage of women in the largest R100 companies is 25.3%; in the smaller R2001- 3000 companies it’s 13.0%, demonstrating that smaller companies are less diverse.

W Companies Increase, Z Companies Decrease. Half of R3000 Have One or No Women.
Forty-three percent of the R3000 companies are W companies, with 20% or more of their board seats held by women, up from 37% in 2017. The number of Z companies, those with no women on their boards, fell to 17% from 22% in 2017. Despite these improvements, 50% of R3000 companies still have one or no women on their boards.

Women Gain Board Seats, Men Are Losing Them.
In looking at trends from the 2629 companies that are on both the R3000 in 2018 and 2017, women gained 469 board seats (net) while men lost 382 board seats (net). Sixty-three percent of the companies that added women did so by adding board seats rather than replacing men.

Industry Sectors Show Progress.
Women now hold more than 20% of the board seats in two industrial sectors: Services and Utilities. In 2017, Utilities was the only sector with 20% or more female directors. All sectors improved the percentage of women directors.

Four States Exceed Goal.
Four of the top 26 states ranked by board diversity exceed the 20% women on boards goal in 2018, up from one state in 2017. These states are Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington. Only Minnesota exceeded the goal in 2017.


Board Diversity at IPOs Continues to Disappoint.
Women hold just 9.2% of the board seats in the largest 25 IPO companies in 2017, up from 8.2% women in 2016, but below the 4-year average of 9.4%. Twelve of the 25 companies went public with no women, and 80% went public with none or only one woman on their boards.