MSCI – Women On boards – 2020 report

A slowdown in the pace of changemsci

MSCI ESG Research LLC has reported annually on the state of women’s representation on corporate boards since 2009. The 2020 progress report provides an overview of gender diversity at the corporate boards and C-suites of the 2,907 constituents of the MSCI ACWI Index as of Oct. 30, 2020.

It also includes market and sector trends, as well as an update to our projections of how long it could take to reach the level of 30% and 50% female directors.


In 2020, there was a noticeable slowdown in the rate of increase in female representation on boards. After a jump of 2.1 percentage points last year, 2020’s growth was limited to 0.6 percentage point among constituents of the MSCI ACWI Index, regressing to 2018’s trend of a slight rise from the prior year (Exhibit 1). Most of the aggregate increase came from developed-market companies, especially those domiciled in the U.S.

Though fewer new female directors were added to boards this year than in the past, the number of all-male boards globally continued to decline. Only 17% of constituents of the MSCI ACWI Index have all-male boards in 2020, down from 18.6% last year. Much of the change came in emerging markets, where the percentage of all-male boards dropped from 34.3% in 2019 to 31.0% in 2020.

pdfarrrow The full report

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