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Board-Diversity Disclosures Top 80% Among Biggest U.S. Employers

July 1, 2021, 6:24 PM

Under pressure from investors, stock exchanges and state governments, a growing number of the U.S.’s largest companies are releasing diversity data about their boards.

More than 80% of the country’s 100-largest employers now report the racial and ethnic composition of their boards of directors or board nominees, advocacy group JUST Capital said in statement on Thursday. Two years ago, that figure stood at just 45%. The foundation cited Starbucks Corp., Verizon Communications Inc. and Target Corp. among the companies leading the way in board diversity.

The rise in companies reporting the data reflects a shift in attitudes, and also new rules requiring more corporate diversity. California and Illinois have passed laws mandating that corporations based in their states add women and members of underrepresented groups to their boards. Nasdaq Inc. announced a similar plan for listed companies in December, which the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will rule on by August. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will no longer fund IPOs for companies with all-male, all-White boards. In response to the measures, the number of companies recruiting women and minorities — and publicizing the results of their efforts — has shot up.

Still, while more companies now report diversity data, most boards don’t represent the U.S. population. Fifty-five of the 83 boards whose data companies have made public are less than 30% non-White, according to JUST Capital. Women hold fewer than a third of board seats among firms listed on the S&P 500 Index.

To contact the author of this story:
Shera Avi-Yonah in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Sarah McGregor at

Rebecca Greenfield

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