Financial markets company finds women still underrepresented on S&P 500 boards

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Financial markets company finds women still underrepresented on S&P 500 boards

By Dan Ochwat - 12/04/2019
Data from Refentiv Eikon shows retailing as the leading industry in regards to female representation on boards.

A review of the companies listed on the S&P 500 index found women are currently underrepresented on corporate boards, according to data from financial experts at Refinitiv, but there is more parity coming.

According to David Aurelio, senior manager of equity markets research at the company, the average “Board Gender Diversity Percentage” for the S&P 500 is 24%, which is up from 15% eight fiscal years ago, and trending at a rate to foresee companies achieving pure parity by 2030.

This average representation of 24% can also be compared to the U.S. Department of Labor citing that women make up roughly 47% of the U.S. labor force.

Looking at industries leading the way now, “retailing” has the highest average of gender representation at 29%, followed by other consumer-focused industries such as “consumer services” (27.7%), “household and personal products” (27.5%), and “food, beverage and tobacco” (26%).

Per Refinitiv, Board Gender Diversity Percentage looks at the fiscal year findings to gather the percentage of gender diversity represented on the board. In July, the S&P 500 officially saw the last company on the index (Dallas-based Copart Inc.) do away with an all-male board by appointing a female director, making every company at least have some representation. But more work still needs to be done.

Store Brands has been running a series of columns by Sarah Alter, president and CEO of the Network of Executive Women on gender diversity. In one columnAlter discusses board diversity and how California has become the first state to pass a law requiring women be represented on boards. In another column, Alter writes about how "in a culture of equality, everybody rises."


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