Boardroom Diversity

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In Wednesday’s edition of NACD Directors Daily, the Sacramento Bee reported that Sodexo was named to the Black Enterprise Top 40 Best Companies for Diversity list for the fourth consecutive year. The company was recognized, in part, for the number of ethnic minorities represented on the company’s board of directors.

While there has been a call for increased diversity in the boardroom for years, the majority of companies have not significantly added to the number of minority directors (based on race and nationality) currently on their boards. According to the 2011 NACD Public Company Governance Survey, 52.4 percent of companies do not have minority directors. Just over 27 percent of boards have one minority director, and only one in five have two or more.

Similarly, few women serve on America’s public company boards. Nearly one-third of public company directors indicate that their boards do not have any female representation. Half of respondents say their boards have just one female director. Just 11.5 percent responded that their boards have three or more women directors.

However, these percentages appear to be increasing. Survey responses indicate that the number of boards with at least one minority or female director has increased since 2006.  Over 38 percent of boards in 2006 had at least one minority director, and in 2011, this number increased to 47.6 percent. Additionally, boards that reported having one female director slowly increased from 64.8 percent in 2006 to 67.4 percent today.

The final 2011 NACD Public Company Governance Survey will be available in late August.

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