Women are in the minority in boardrooms. But that’s changing. There’s been a lot of talk about how women are slowly climbing the ladder to power and influence in business.

In fact, the representation of women on boards of directors saw a best-ever growth in 2021, according to the Women Leading Boards special report from Women Business Collaborative (WBC) and 50/50 Women on Boards™ (WOB).

Women on board seats at Russell 3000 companies

Russell 3000 companies represent the largest and most diverse group of publicly traded companies in the United States. The Russell 3000 Index is comprised of these companies, which together account for approximately 98% of all U.S. stock market capitalization.

Women now hold 26.7% of board seats at Russell 3000 companies, which is 10.7% up from 2017. The percentage of women being appointed to boards also grew from 23.4% in 2017, rising to 44.8% in 2021 wherein more than half – 61.6% – are women’s first public board appointments. The tech industry has 203 women directors which accounts for 48% of all directors appointed in the sector.

The increased representation of women on boards is a significant achievement. The reasons are clear: Women bring a unique point of view to the boardroom and can help bridge cultural differences between companies, as well as provide valuable insight into how women experience certain issues or challenges facing their company. 

The truth is that women aren’t any less capable than men when it comes to running companies. In fact, studies show that female CEOs tend to produce better results for their companies than male CEOs do. But when it comes down to it, many women don’t feel welcome in corporate leadership positions simply because they aren’t treated as equals.

That’s why we think it’s important to talk about how women can change this equation by acting like leaders rather than being viewed as one-dimensional figures and therefore an edge on management skills over other men who might otherwise have been able to do a better job managing these companies.

While progress has been made, there is still much work to be done.

Read the full report here.


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