2020 Women on Boards (2020WOB), the leading global education and advocacy campaign accelerating women to corporate boards, inaugurates its bold new name and vision: 50/50 Women on Boards (50/50WOB), with women directors holding roughly half of all corporate board seats.
In 2010, 2020WOB set a ten-year goal for women to hold 20% of the corporate board seats of companies listed on the Russell 3000 Index. In 2020, women reached a historic 22.6% of the public company board seats. While this was an important milestone, out of the 2,982 Russell 3000 companies nationwide, our Gender Diversity Index (GDI) research revealed only five percent (154 companies) have gender-balanced boards. Additionally, one-third (1,064) of the Russell 3000 companies still only have one or no women on their boards.
“Independent research has long established that companies with gender-balanced and diverse boards are more profitable and productive, and the workforce is better engaged,” said Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO of 50/50 Women on Boards. “ISS, Goldman Sachs, and now NASDAQ have reinforced what we’ve been saying for years: increasing gender diversity on boards is good for business and the economy.”
50/50WOB will continue to educate, advocate, and collaborate with corporations and individuals through its research, educational programs and events focused on the business imperative of women on corporate boards.
Partnering with Equilar, 50/50WOB will continue to release timely and topical research reporting on the progress of gender-balanced boards of the Russell 3000 Index companies, and corporations that report on the diversity of their boards.
“With great momentum, our new campaign name and brand identity represent a bold forward movement toward accelerating gender balance and diversity on corporate boards,” added co-founder and Vice-Chair Malli Gero. “So that when we tell women to reach for the stars, those stars are no longer pre-determined by a select few.”
“We define gender-balanced boards as women and men holding half of the seats; boards with an odd number of members will still be considered balanced if women hold one more or one less than half of the corporate board seats,” noted Stephanie Sonnabend, co-founder and board chair. “We applaud gender-balanced companies that are already trailblazing the effort, including Amazon, Etsy, Eventbrite, Exponent Inc., GM, iRobot, LendingTree, and Merck. Our Gender Diversity Directory will rate Russell 3000 companies for progress toward board gender balance, with a score of zero to three-plus for the number of women on the board, and “GB” when gender balance is achieved.
Additionally, in Q1, 50/50 Women on Boards will launch its “One is Not Done” campaign, boldly challenging companies with 0 or 1 woman on their board. Also, its popular Get On Board! workshops for board-ready women will span February to September, 2021. Its new program, Path to the Boardroom, for mid-career women will start in March, 2021.