Keep this year in mind: 2044.
That’s when MSCI projects there could be a 50/50 gender split on company boards globally. Although that date seems far away (and no doubt some of us won’t be around to witness it), the MSCI’s Women on Boards 2019 Progress Report has found some positive trends.
For companies that make up the MSCI All Country World Index, 20% of directors are women this year, up from about 18% in 2018. The report notes that “this 2.1 percentage-point increase in 2019 also slightly shortened the path to 30% female directorship (projected for 2027, based on the latest data).”
Other findings using companies in the MSCI ACWI include:
- 3% of companies subjected to mandatory gender quotas have exceeded these requirements; Italy and France have the highest percentage of companies with more women than required;
- The number of companies with a majority of female board members doubled in 2019 vs. 2018; this means, however, that just 22 companies met this qualifier and that close to 99% of boards remain male dominated;
- The financial sector tops all areas, with three or more women on about 45% of boards, while this is the case for only about 28% of boards in information technology (which did improve from 2018 and 2019),
- More women than men (22% vs. 12%) were “overboarded,” that is, serve in multiple directorship roles.
- Emerging markets are doing better than developed markets, with female CFOs at 14.4% at EM companies vs. 12.7% in the United States and 12.5% in the ASWI.
It’s no surprise that among countries (or states, such as California) that have mandatory quotas for women on boards, 72% have achieved the overall goal of 30% female membership.
Of those countries that did not have mandatory quotas, only 20.3% have reached the 30% threshold and 23.0% have all-male boards.