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Fortune 500 companies delivered a new board diversity record, but it's not enough

Underrepresented groups are more present on company boards, but overall diversity is still limited

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An empty boardroom in New York
Photo: Andrew Kelly (Reuters)

There is good and bad news coming from the latest report on boardroom diversity in Fortune 500 companies. Underrepresented groups—women and minorities—have more participation than ever. Yet those gains are still small, and only 22% of board seats are taken by members of racial and ethnic minorities.

Fortune 100 companies score the highest combined representation of women and minorities, 46.5%—yet this means the absolute majority of board seats are still taken by white men.


The report projects (pdf, p.6) that, at this pace, full equal representation for women and minorities across all Fortune 500 companies won’t be achieved before 2060.

Fewer white men, more everyone else, still mostly white men

According to the report, released by Deloitte and the Alliance for Board Diversity, there has been an overall increase in diversity between 2020 and 2022. But it has been distributed along predictable lines: White women are more represented in company boards than people of color, and men of color more than women of color.


The overall trend is encouraging. In 2020, there were 6.6% board seat held by women of color, and 14% by men of color; in 2022, women of color are 8.8%, and men 14.9%—showing faster growth among women.

White people continue to hold nearly 78% of board seats, but overall diversity increased across all ethnic and racial minorities. In particular for Black people, who now take nearly 12% of board seats: Between 2020 and 2022, Black men gained 201 board seats, and Black women 76.

Growth among Asian and Hispanic and Latino groups has been smaller, with 47 and 33 more seats respectively, while white women gained the second-most seats, 95. However, among the top 100 companies, Hispanic and Latino women saw the largest relative growth in representation, holding 45.5% more seats.

All of this growth happened against a significant drop in control from white men, who now have 382 fewer seats at Fortune 500 boardroom tables.