Even As U.S. Boards Recruit More Women And Minorities, CEO Diversity Still Low

Boston/Washington, Nov. 17, Reuters – According to new study from recruiting company Heidrick & Struggles, which blamed the pattern on delayed leadership turnover, the percentage of women and minority leaders holding CEO positions has remained constant since last year at top U.S. corporations despite corporate commitments to enhance diversity.

However, it has been discovered that boardrooms with greater tempo have increased diversity.

Only 12 top executives at Fortune 100 businesses were female as of July 15, the same amount as a year earlier, according to Heidrick.

Top female CEOs include Sarah London, the new CEO of Centene Corp., Karen Lynch, the CEO of CVS Health, and Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors.

According to the Heidrick & Struggles research, 86 of the group’s CEOs were white, which is a tiny decrease from 88 during the previous time frame. According to census data, the non-Hispanic white population in the US is approximately 59%.

Lyndon Taylor, a partner at Heidrick who directed the research and counsels organizations on boardroom and CEO appointments across industries, said that corporate boards, in contrast, can have a dozen members who may stay for only a few years, providing directors with more opportunities to bring in new employees.

The high rate of turnover, he noted, allows for speedy diversification of a corporate board. Diversity must be incorporated into the succession plan, according to Taylor, if you want to quicken the pace of change in the C-suite.

Heidrick observed that 43% of board seats were filled by first-time directors, which is a record high.

Last year, 41% of the appointees were varied in terms of race or ethnicity, which is similar to figures in 2020, and nearly 50% of them were women.
The results of that study, which looked at Fortune 500 companies, a bigger group of businesses than those examined in the CEO study, were consistent with those of other academics.

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