MSCI – Women on boards


2019 Progress Report

Continuing the work begun by GMI Ratings in 2009, MSCI ESG Research LLC has been reporting annually on the state of women’s representation on corporate boards. As part of this evolving series we have added

other areas of interest including market  and sector-specific corporate gender diversity issues, expertise comparison and an overview of regulatory frameworks around gender diversity.

In this latest report in the series, we reviewed the board and executive management structure of 2,765 companies, constituents of the MSCI ACWI Index as of October 31, 2019.

  •  Progress is still slow, but 2019 saw a noticeable uptick: 20.0% of directors were women in 2019, up from 17.9% in 2018 and 17.3% in 2017. 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). At the current pace, a50/50 gender split among global directors might be reached by 2044.
  •  57.3% of the companies subject to mandatory gender quotas had exceeded requirements as of October 31, 2019. Italy and France had the highest percentage of companies with more females than required (among MSCI ACWI Index constituents).
  •  The number of companies with majority female boards doubled in 2019 compared with 2018. Yet these 22 firms accounted for fewer than 1% of theconstituents of the MSCI ACWI Index as of October 30, 2019; 98.7% of the boards remained male-dominated.
  •  The information technology GICS ® sector, 1 historically lagging, had the steepest increase in companies with three or more female directors (28.3% in 2019 vs15.5% in 2018).
  •  In emerging markets, female directors and executives were more likely to have financial expertise than their male counterparts: 47% vs 39%. In developed markets, we found no significant differences in professional expertise (risk orfinancial expertise) between male and female directors.
  •  More women (22%) than men (12%) were overboarded (serving on three or more boards) globally. Higher levels of multiple directorships among female directorsmay indicate overreliance on a limited pool of women directors.

The Full report pdfarrrow

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