Board Diversity Gaps

Boardroom diversity has been a hot topic of conversation globally for several years, but are words leading to action and progress?

Inaugural research from Diligent Institute and 22 partner organizations reveals massive gaps in how diversity is defined and represented across corporate boards globally.

See findings from the ground-breaking 2022 Global Modern Leadership Report and hear from diverse directors below.

36%
of director appointments were female in the first half of 2022
35%
of newly appointed directors have skill sets in technology, marketing, sales, HR, ESG and legal
22%
of S&P 500 directors are from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups
0.5%
of Fortune 500 board seats are held by members of the LGBTQ+ community

The Report

The 2022 Global Modern Leadership Report, authored by Diligent Institute, using data sets from Diligent Governance Intelligence and Insightia, provides in-depth insights into how diversity is progressing on boards worldwide. And while progress continues to be made to drive gender diversity on boards, other diversity measures like race, ethnicity and LGBTQ+ representation fall significantly behind worldwide.

The first-of-its-kind report offers a more comprehensive view of boardroom diversity and composition worldwide, providing transparency and accountability to help drive forward boardroom diversity. The research provides visibility into public and private companies, examining multiple dimensions of diversity and inclusion across the Americas, Europe and the UK, Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region.

  • GENDER
  • RACE
  • SKILLS
  • LGBTQ+
Gender Diversity Remains a Priority for Boards 

Steady progress is being made to drive greater gender diversity on boards globally, with 27% of public company board seats being held by women. However, progress is much slower on private company boards. Based on an analysis of 228 private growth-stage companies, 58% of private boards are all male.​

Diversity on Race, Ethnicity and Nationality Falls Behind​
Very few countries track their boardrooms' racial and/or ethnic make-up. Even in the U.S. — where this is a priority — only 23% of the S&P 500 and 10% of the Russell 3000 indexes disclose individual director ethnicities.

Boards Are Recruiting for New Skill Sets

Companies are increasingly embracing more diverse skill sets by adding technology, marketing, sales, HR, ESG and legal talent to the boardroom.​

LGBTQ+ Recognition and Representation Is Far Behind Globally

Visibility around LGBTQ+ representation in the boardroom is extremely limited, with the U.S. being the only region analyzed that provided data on LGBTQ+ diversity among boards. ​

Hear from Rising Directors


Shaunte Mears-Watkins

Diversity at the board level results in more diverse and innovative solutions to today’s ever-evolving risk landscape.


Shai Ganu

Contrarian views and diverse backgrounds bring a new perspective to the boardroom.


Chiqui Cartagena

Unique skill sets can impact the decisions made at the board level.

Closing the Gaps in Boardroom Diversity

As the report highlights, much progress needs to be made across multiple dimensions of diversity in the boardroom. With significant variations across countries and regions, it’s clear that diversity is making uneven steps globally. Closing the gender gap, driving improved racial and ethnic representation among directors, and increasing visibility of the LGBTQ+ community and their representation in the boardroom are key steps companies worldwide need to action.

Join the conversation and help drive progress toward closing the gap.



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