2020 Gender Diversity Index Key Findings


Big Companies Continue to Lead Smaller Ones in Diversity:

Women now hold 22.6% of the board seats of Russell 3000 (R3000) companies, up from 20.4% in 2019, and 16.0% in 2017—a 6.6 percentage point increase over four years. The percentage of women in the 100 largest companies is 29.9%, up from 27.7% in 2019. In the 1,000 smallest companies on the R3000, women hold 18.2% of the board seats, up from 15.7% in 2019.

Almost 2/3 of Russell 3000 Companies are W, but 1/3 Have One or No Women Directors:

Sixty-one percent of R3000 companies are companies, with 20% or more board seats held by women, up from 52% in 2019. Only 7% of the companies are companies with no women directors, but despite this progress, 1,064 companies—one third of all the companies on the list—still have only one or no women on their boards. 

All but Two States Exceed the Goal:

Of the 25 states with more than 20 R3000 companies, all but two, Florida and Utah, have 20% or more women on their boards, up from 17 states in 2019. The states exceeding 20% of the board seats held by women that newly achieved this milestone include: Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.

Industry Sectors Soar: 10 of 11 Exceed 20%:

Women now hold more than 20% of the board seats in companies in 10 of 11 industry sectors. Only the energy sector is below 20%.

Women Gain Board Seats at Slower Pace than 2019:

Women gained 744 board seats (net) while men lost 470 board seats (net). Sixty percent of the seats gained by women were additional board seats and did not require men to give up their seats to make room for women. In the first six months of 2020, women gained 36% of the new seats, down from 42% in 2019.


Women continue to make strides in corporate boardrooms. The percentage of companies has again grown by about 10 percent, and the number of companies continues to decline. companies are also in decline, indicating that companies are beginning to realize that diversity means more than one woman director. Thirty percent (911) of R3000 companies have three or more women on their boards, compared with 25% (720) last year. Five percent (162) of the companies have achieved gender balance, compared with 4% (116) last year. We define gender balance as having an equal number of men and women or not more than one additional man or woman on odd numbered boards.