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GAO: Gender Parity Would Reach Boardrooms in 2024 At Very Earliest, But Will Probably Be Later

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jan 7, 2016
BoardroomIf we wanted to have 50-50 gender parity in corporate boardrooms, the earliest this could be done in the U.S. is by 2024, but this is assuming that every single board vacancy that opens up from now will be filled by women, according to a recent GAO report. This is not likely to happen, however, and so the date will probably be much further out: the GAO estimates, more realistically, it will take about 40 years before parity is achieved. Not that there hasn't been progress on this front at all: the GAO report notes that women made up 16 percent of S&P1500 board seats in 2014, double what it was in 1997. The GAO identified three main factors in why corporate boards remain mostly male: first, boards to not prioritize recruiting diverse candidates, second there are few women in the traditional pipeline to board service, such as CEO, and third board seats generally have low turnover anyway. The GAO did not make any recommendations to address this in its report.