Visualizing the Rise of Women on Boards of Directors Worldwide
The Rise of Women on Boards of Directors Worldwide
Women’s representation in the boardroom is a mixed bag. The number of women on boards is rising across the globe—but the rate of increase has slowed for three of the past four years.
Based on MSCI research of All Country World Index (ACWI) constituent companies, the graphic above reveals a 10-year trend of women’s representation on corporate boards, and projects three future scenarios on the way to parity.
ESG Goals: The Path to Parity
The ESG ecosystem considers 30% representation to be a critical milestone on the road to reaching gender parity on corporate boards of directors.
Following a small uptick in 2019—and two years of slowed growth from 2017 to 2018—the rise of women on boards slowed again in 2020, gaining 0.6 percentage points (p.p.).
Based on different forward-looking scenarios, here’s how long it could take to reach equal representation:
|Progressive scenario||Business-as-usual scenario||Deceleration scenario|
|Years to reach 30%|
Women on Boards (WoB)
|6 years||9 years||16 years|
|Year we may reach >50% WoB||2039||2045||2070|
Source: MSCI ESG Research LLC as of Oct. 30, 2020.
On the whole, parity on corporate boards could be reached as early as 2039 or as late as 2070.
Women’s Representation: State of the Unions
MSCI research reveals trends that highlight significant traction. In 2020, fewer women became directors, but all-male boards continued to decline worldwide to 17% in 2020 (a 2 p.p. drop) among the ACWI contingent.
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