The topic of diversity continues to gain momentum across Corporate America. Companies face immense pressure from investors, customers, clients and the public to add diverse perspectives, skill sets and demographics to their boardrooms. This is even further exacerbated across the nation today, as Americans urge for the end to racial inequality.
While boardrooms across America continue to make progress on the diversity front, there is still a long way to go until gender parity—equal representation of both men and women—on boards is achieved. This segment breaks down the representation of women on Russell 3000 boards within each U.S. state as of Q1 2020.
As of the close of Q1 2020, women hold just over 22% of all Russell 3000 board seats. New Mexico leads the way with 40% female representation on boards—although the state of New Mexico has just one Russell 3000 company. New Mexico is followed by Delaware, with 30% of directorships belonging to women. Maine, Hawaii and North Dakota round out the five states with the highest prevalence of women on boards, each with at least 27%.
In California, 24% of Russell 3000 directorships belong to women. During Q3 2018, the state of California passed legislation that mandates public companies to have a woman on their boards. At that time, California had just 17% female representation on boards. As of Q1 2020, that number has spiked to 24%, which ranks the state 17th among all U.S. states (California was previously ranked 29th in Q3 2018). California companies also added the most women to their boards in Q1 2020, with 46 new women joining boards. The second highest is Texas at 22.
Louisiana has the lowest prevalence of women on boards at 14%. In Texas, 35 boards are currently without a female director—the most among all states. California, on the other hand, has just seven boards without a female director. This amounts to less than 2% of all California-based Russell 3000 companies. This represents a sharp decline from Q3 2018 when 20% of California boards were without a woman.