Women Groups, SEC Commissioner Lead Charge for More Board Diversity

by Gary Larkin for The Conference Board – Governance Center Blog, May 20th, 2011

Maybe for change to take place on U.S. corporate boards, it may have to take the support of an influential person such as the President. But for now it seems a sitting SEC commissioner will do.

Earlier this month, SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar had some strong words for corporate boardrooms about the lack of women and minority members on their boards. “Even though our nation has grown more diverse, the corporate boardroom is proving resistant to change. I find this status quo unacceptable and question why at a time when there are more qualified diverse board candidates, we have less diverse board members.”

Aguilar was responding to some dismal numbers that came out on May 2 from the Alliance for Board Diversity in its report, Missing Pieces: Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards — 2010 Alliance for Board Diversity Census. That report found that in the Fortune 100, between 2004 and 2010, white men increased their share of board seats in corporate America from 71.2 percent to 72.9 percent. In fact, that report, which was done by Catalyst, also found that of the Fortune 500, in 2010 only 15 companies had members of each of the U.S. Census Bureau ethnicity and origin groups.(continue reading… )

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