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24 Oct, 2013

Gender Diversity Index 2013: Women Make Steady Progress in U.S. Company Boardrooms


BOSTON-(BUSINESS WIRE)-October 21, 2013-Women continue to make steady gains in the boardrooms of Fortune 1000 companies, according to the third annual 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index of Fortune 1000 Companies released today. Women now hold 16.6% of Fortune 1000 companies, up from 14.6 % in 2011. The 2020 Gender Diversity Index uses the 2010 Fortune 10001 list as a baseline to track the progress women have made in obtaining board seats. The first Index was published in 2011.

The 2020 Index is a subset of the 2020 Gender Diversity Directory, an online database of 1500 companies categorized by the gender composition of their boards. Winning “W” Companies have 20% or more boards seats held by women; Very Close “V” Companies have 11% – 19% board seats held by women; Token “T” Companies have one woman director; and Zero “Z” Companies have no women directors. The 2020 Gender Diversity Directory, which can be found on the 2020wob.com website, allows stakeholders to learn about the boardroom gender diversity of the companies where they work, shop and invest.

“This year’s Index report demonstrates that companies are adding women directors to their boards, and that the pace of change has quickened. We believe that we are on track to reach our goal of 20% or more company board seats held by women in the Fortune 1000 by 2020,” said Stephanie Sonnabend, 2020 Women on Boards Co-founder and Chair.

“The 2020 Women on Boards campaign now has thousands of supporters across the US and the world who support our mission. The campaign is working,” notes Malli Gero, 2020 Women on Boards co-founder and Executive Director.

2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index – 2013 Key Findings

Number of Women on Boards Increased: The percent of board seats held by women in the 2020 Index companies increased to 16.6% in 2013 from 15.6% in 2012. The percentage of board seats held by women in 2011, the first year of reporting, was 14.6%.

The number of Winning “W” Companies Increased, Zero “Z” Companies Decreased: The number of Winning “W” Companies Increased to 316 in 2013, up from 308 in 2012 and 273 in 2011, while the number of Very Close “V” Companies dropped to 167 in 2013, from 177 in 2012 and 187 in 2011. There was little change in the number of Token “T” companies: 292 in 2013 and 291 in 2012, but down from 314 in 2011. The biggest change was in the Zero “Z” Company category, with drops in three consecutive years: 118 in 2013, 152 in 2012 and 177 in 2011.

Companies that become inactive are more likely to be companies with one or no women on their boards: Between 2012 and 2013, 37 companies dropped off the Fortune 1000 list because they went private, were acquired, or went out of business. Of the 37 inactive companies, 13 are “Z” Companies and 11 are “T” Companies. This represents 65% of the companies, which is significant. Research has demonstrated that companies with women on boards are more profitable. It appears they are also more sustainable.

Gains seen in Male-Dominated Sectors: Companies in male-dominated sectors traditionally have fewer women directors than more neutral or female- friendly sectors; however, in 2013 progress has been made in all sectors with the greatest gains in Real Estate, Energy and Industrials.

About 2020 Women on Boards: 2020 Women on Boards is a national campaign to increase the percentage of women directors on U.S. public company boards to 20% or greater by 2020. Campaign supporters include individuals, organizations and companies that embrace the principle that diversity in the boardroom encourages good corporate decision-making. To obtain a copy of the report, register your support for the campaign or to learn more about the campaign, visit www.2020wob.com.