We’re fighting to ensure women have equal access to corporate board seats and top leadership at companies. In conjunction with our biennial A Seat at the Table Awards Breakfast, we publish the only report on the number of women on boards and in the senior governance of New Jersey’s public companies.
2021 Key Statistics
5% of board seats among companies in the Russell 3000 are held by Black directors
60% of companies in the Russell 3000 have 0 Black board members
3% of board seats among Fortune 1000 companies are held by Hispanic directors
73% of Fortune 1000 companies have 0 Hispanic board members
Why Diversity Matters
While some gains have been made when it comes to women’s leadership in corporate spaces, there is still much work to be done to reach equity. Unfortunately, progress for Black, Latinx, and Asian Americans, especially women, has lagged even more substantially. As our nation continues to grapple with systemic racial inequities, we felt compelled to expand our work to include racial and ethnic diversity on boards.
Among the many tragic impacts of the pandemic has been the mass exit of women from the workforce, particularly Black and Brown women, many of whom already face extreme economic inequality. Because women of color are not present in high levels of leadership, despite their expertise or skillset, they are left financially vulnerable, a dynamic we also see in the wage-gap disparities women face.
At the heart of EWNJ’s work is equity, and we believe that this moment calls for all of us to work within our spheres of influence to fight for more equitable and inclusive systems. Through our ongoing efforts to increase equity for women in the workplace, we know that advocacy and urgency are integral to change, which is why we are committed to spotlighting the lack of diversity in corporate leadership and fighting to change it.
Requirements for Change
Think and recruit differently.
Challenge conventional thinking about the value of diversity.
Diversity is an ongoing process, not “one and done.”
Diversity comes from a systematic and ongoing effort that requires thinking about the next step.
Make people accountable and assess this accountability through annual board evaluations and through board oversight of diversity within the company. Remember that what’s not counted doesn’t count.
Create an inclusive and supportive environment.
Use the disruption provided by the pandemic to think differently about norms of overwork and presence in the office.
Create your own seat at the table.
If you want to be on a board, be methodical about building and cultivating networks.
This summary represents only a small fraction of the compelling information and enlightening statistics EWNJ uncovers in our latest Seat at the Table report.