Boards Are Increasing Their Representation of Women and Minorities

A new report issued by Deloitte’s Center for Corporate Governance and the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals (the Society) identifies board refreshment and composition as a significant focus area for board members this coming year.

With the increased scrutiny of board composition by shareholders and corporate governance advocates alike, the survey finds foreseeable—and significant—data trends with respect to board makeup.

Predictably, survey results noted age limits as the most prevalent mechanism contributing to board turnover, and such limits continue to rise. Even so, the 2014 Board Practices Report also found very few boards with directors aged 40 or younger, citing more than half of companies reporting their youngest director as older than 50. For 53 percent of all companies, director retirement is the reason for change in board composition.

Eighteen percent of respondents, overall, increased the number of women on their boards in the past year. This was particularly true among large and small caps where women comprise 26-50 percent of their board composition.

Similar movements, but on a smaller scale, can be found for minority representation, particularly with financial services companies. Since 2012, financial services companies saw a 9 percent point increase in representation in minorities. Comparing these results to the report’s 2008 survey, where one-quarter of respondents indicated no women or racial/ethnic diversity, boards are recognizing and embracing the value of diverse perspectives as an avenue to enhance board performance.

To download a copy of the report, go to www.deloitte.com/us/boardpractices2014 .


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