All S&P 500 Companies Now Have Women on Boards

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek July 26, 2019

​There are no longer male-only boards of directors among Standard & Poor's 500 companies. Dallas-based Copart Inc. became the last of those companies to add a woman to the fold with the appointment of Diane Morefield, chief financial officer at CyrusOne Inc.

Copart, a provider of online vehicle auction and remarketing services in the U.S., Canada and the UK, announced Morefield's addition July 24. CyrusOne, also in Dallas, develops, owns and operates state-of-the-art data centers.

There has been a push for board diversity in recent years. Last year, California became the first state to pass a law requiring publicly traded companies headquartered there to have at least one woman on their boards by the end of 2019. By the end of July 2021, boards with five members would need to add at least two women to their boards and boards with six or more members must add at least three women. 

Advocates say board diversity also should include people who represent different races and ethnicities.  

For example, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who chairs the U.S. House Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, introduced the Diversity in Corporate Leadership Act of 2019. It would establish a model for boosting board diversity and create an advisory group that would conduct a study and provide recommendations on private-sector strategies to increase gender, racial and ethnic diversity on boards of directors. 

SHRM Online has collected the following articles on this topic from its archives and other trusted sources. 

The Last All-Male Board on the S&P 500 Is No Longer 

The index's last company without a female board director, Copart Inc., changed that when it announced it had appointed CyrusOne Inc.'s chief financial officer, 61-year-old Diane Morefield, to its board. Hitting this milestone within the S&P 500 has taken years
(Wall Street Journal)   

Report: Diversity on Boards Growing Slowly but Steadily 

The boards of Fortune 500 companies are expected to achieve gender parity among the incoming class of directors by 2023, according to projections from Heidrick & Struggles' recently released 2019 Board Monitor. This projection is based on the finding that women filled 40 percent of new board of director seats in 2018—the highest percentage in the 10 years the company has tracked board diversity. In 2009, women filled 18 percent of new board seats.
(SHRM Online)   

What's Keeping More Women from Board Seats: Little Turnover 

A stubborn paradox reigns across U.S. boardrooms: Companies are appointing more women to board seats than ever, but the overall share of female directors is barely budging. The reason isn't the pipeline, say recruiters and researchers. It is that board seats rarely become available. New data show that the average director stays more than a decade, creating few openings.
(Wall Street Journal)   

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Developing Organizational Leaders]  

More Women Joining Fortune 500 Boards Than Ever Before 

Women are ascending to the real seat of corporate power—the Fortune 500 boardroom—at a record rate. Last year, of the 462 newly appointed Fortune 500 board members, 183 of them—or 40 percent—were women, according to a new report from executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. That's more than double the rate from a decade ago and the highest on record. At this pace, Heidrick expects women will be named to Fortune 500 boards in equal numbers as men by 2023. A few factors are driving the recent surge in women appointees, according to the report.

When and Why Diversity Improves Your Board's Performance 

California legislation signed into law last year said that all locally headquartered, publicly traded companies must have at least one female director by 2020. While new to the U.S., mandates to increase gender diversity on corporate boards are common elsewhere. For example, Norway, Spain, France and Iceland all have laws requiring that women comprise at least 40 percent of boards at publicly listed companies. Evidence that board diversity benefits firms, however, has been mixed.
(Harvard Business Review)  

A Dozen Ways Boards Can Become More Diverse 

A new report, Diversity in the Boardroom: Pushing Forward, Reaching Back, offers 12 recommendations on how boards of directors can diversify their membership. 
(SHRM Online



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