Spencer Stuart Report Shows Diversity Gains in S&P 500 Boards
The Spencer Stuart 2021 S&P 500 Board Diversity Snapshot shows that firms are increasingly prioritizing diversity in the makeup of their boards of directors. According to the survey, S&P 500 boards added 456 new independent directors during the 2021 proxy season, the most since 2004, and 47% of the new director class are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, Asian, American Indian/Native Alaskan and multiracial directors, largely driven by an increase in the recruitment of Black/African American directors. The report also showed that 43% of new directors are women, a decline from 47% last year. The report provided an overall picture of S&P 500 boards with a range of data, including:
- 21% of all S&P 500 directors in 2021 are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, Asian, American Indian/Native Alaskan or multiracial — the first time Spencer Stuart tracked the racial/ ethnic diversity of the full set of S&P 500 boards.
- Women now represent 30% of all S&P 500 directors — the most ever — despite representing close to half the new director classes the last several years.
- Directors from these historically underrepresented groups account for 72% of all new directors.