(Bloomberg) — Women controlled 28% of board seats among S&P 500 companies in April, the highest share this year, according to Bloomberg data.
The net gain of four seats pushed the percentage of female directors above the 27% level in March, the data showed. Last year, women exceeded a quarter of S&P 500 seats for the first time, when executive recruiter Spencer Stuart said they captured a record 26% share. The last all-male board in the S&P 500 also added a woman last year.
Companies are under more pressure to add women as large investors such as BlackRock Inc. and State Street Global Advisors vote against directors on all-male boards. More investors also are insisting large companies have at least 25% female membership in the board room. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has said it will no longer underwrite initial public offerings for companies that lack a diverse board.
- 14 companies increased the number of women on their boards.
- 12 companies reduced the number of women on their boards, including US Bancorp, PPG Industries Inc. and AT&T Inc.
- The industrials sector led the gain in female board members while financials notched a decline.
- The Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index returned 8.1% in April, underperforming the MSCI World Index, which returned 11%. The Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index is a modified capitalization-weighted index that tracks the financial performance of those companies committed to supporting gender equality through policy development, representation and transparency.
S&P 500 Index companies with the highest percentage of female board members:
The analysis is based on data that covers 493 companies in the S&P 500 Index.
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