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Missing pieces report: Industry view
Another angle found nearly one-third of all Fortune 500 boards have greater than 40 percent diversity
The Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD), in collaboration with Deloitte, examined the data from Missing Pieces Report: The 2018 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards from another angle by taking a look at the Fortune 500 in alignment with their respective industries.
The Missing Pieces Report: The 2018 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards (Missing Pieces Report), a collaboration between the Alliance for Board Diversity and Deloitte, examined the progress made from 2016 to 2018 in adding women and minorities to public company boards of directors across America’s largest companies. Perhaps the most promising trend in that report was the increase in the number of Fortune 500 companies with greater than 40 percent of board members who are women and/or minorities—a figure that has nearly tripled since 2010. Nearly one-third of all Fortune 500 boards now have greater than 40 percent diversity, a target set by the Alliance for Board Diversity.1
While progress is being made, the raw numbers are still small. Among other benefits, diversity has been linked to greater innovation, better financial outcomes,2 and increased transparency for companies.3 Given these facts, the Alliance for Board Diversity and Deloitte examined the data from another angle by taking a look at the Fortune 500 in alignment with their respective industries.4 Viewing the numbers by industry allows for a deeper conversation about where headway has been made and where more opportunities for diversity in the boardroom may lie.
Findings from the Missing Pieces Report revealed that nearly one-third of all Fortune 500 boards have greater than 40 percent diversity.
- Industries leading in having boards with greater than 40 percent diversity include technology, media, and telecommunications (42 percent); and life sciences and health care (38 percent).
- The industry with only 20 percent diversity is energy, resources, and industrials.
Percentage of total companies within each industry by diversity of board
About the Alliance for Board Diversity
Founded in 2004, the Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD) is a collaboration of four leadership organizations: Catalyst, The Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), and LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics). Diversified Search, an executive search firm, is a founding partner of the alliance and serves as an advisor and facilitator. The ABD’s mission is to increase the representation of women and minorities on corporate boards. More information about ABD is available at www.theabd.org.
1 Deloitte and the Alliance for Board Diversity, Missing Pieces Report: The 2018 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards, published on January 16, 2019.
2 Credit Suisse Research Institute, Gender Diversity and the Impact on Corporate Performance 2005–2011, Zurich: Credit Suisse, 2012.
3 Aida Sijamic Wahid, “The effects and the mechanisms of board gender diversity: Evidence from financial manipulation,” Journal of Business Ethics, 2018.
4 Industry definitions: For the purposes of analysis, the Fortune 500 industry classification for each company included in the Missing pieces report: The 2018 board diversity census of women and minorities on Fortune 500 boards were mapped to five Deloitte industry designations: Consumer; Energy, Resources & Industrials; Financial Services; Life Sciences & Healthcare; or Technology, Media & Telecommunications. In some cases, companies in a Fortune 500 industry may be assigned to different Deloitte industries. Below is a summary of the industries analyzed in this piece and Fortune 500 industry designations for companies aligned with that industry.
For the detailed summary of the industries referenced, please download the full industry view report.
As published in 'NACD Directorship' magazine, 2020 Governance Outlook, December 2019
As published in 'NACD Directorship' magazine, The Power of Difference supplement, September/October 2019