Missing Pieces Report: The Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards 2016

Shifting demographics in the United States have brought diversity to the forefront of issues on the minds of c-suite executives and corporate boards. As the population of the United States continues to diversify, companies may need to determine ways to gain more diversity of thought, experience, and background in both management as well as the boardroom.

Since 2004, the Alliance for Board Diversity (“ABD” or “we”) has been striving to enhance shareholder value by promoting inclusion of women and minorities on corporate boards. During this time ABD has celebrated the accomplishments and movement forward, but the fact remains that progress in this vein has been slow.

This study is the outgrowth of a multi-year effort organized by ABD, collaborating with Deloitte for the 2016 census, which has examined and chronicled the degree of participation of diverse professionals on boards of directors across America’s largest companies. Originally organized as a “snapshot” of board diversity, the data, since accumulated over time, has allowed for the development of information on trends relative to overall diversity as well as the comparative differences in rates of representation among minorities and women over a period of more than a decade. This 2016 report highlights the progress to date that has been made for women and minorities on corporate boards. While there have been some gains, they have been negligible at best, and certainly not representative of the broad demographic changes we have seen in the United States in the same period of time.


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