Women hold a record 22.6% of board seats among the largest Russell 3000 index companies, according to the 2020 Gender Diversity index released Friday by the 2020 Women on Boards organization.
The 2020WOB Gender Diversity index marked a 2.2 percentage-point increase from last year, and a 6.5 percentage-point increase over the last four years, but a third of companies still have only one woman or no women on their boards.
"Companies that understand the business imperatives and benefits of women directors propelled us to this milestone," said Stephanie Sonnabend, 2020WOB co-founder and board chairwoman, in a statement.
Co-founder Malli Gero said that to build more diverse boards, companies need to commit that their workforce, leadership, and boardroom represent all backgrounds, "which positively affect business culture, innovation and performance."
Out of the 26,711 board seats of the 2,982 companies on the 2020 Russell 3000 list, women hold 6,034 seats, according to the index, which found that 5% of the Russell 3000 companies have no women directors and 30% have only one.
Roughly a quarter of companies added women directors in the past year, and 60% of the new seats came from adding board seats, not replacing male directors.
The index found that for the 25 states with more than 20 companies on the Russell 3000, all but two — Florida and Utah — exceeded the 20% goal for women on boards this year, up from 17 states in 2019.