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Highlights from 2019 U.S. Spencer Stuart Board Index

A recent post from consulting firm Spencer Stuart announces The 2019 U.S. Spencer Stuart Board Index, which provides key data on corporate board trends. The report finds, among other things, that corporate boards are adding new directors with diversity of gender, age, race/ethnicity and professional backgrounds. However, changes to overall boardroom numbers continue at a slow pace. Some key findings:

  • Of the 432 independent directors added to S&P 500 boards over the past year, a record-breaking 59% are diverse (defined as women and minority men), up from half last year. Women comprise 46% of the incoming class. Minority women (defined as African-American/Black, Asian and Hispanic/Latino) comprise 10% of new S&P 500 directors, and minority men 13%.
    • Representation of women on S&P 500 boards increased incrementally to 26% of all directors, up from 24% in 2018 and 16% in 2009. Today, 19% of all directors of the top 200 companies are male or female minorities, up from 17% last year and 15% in 2009.
    • 71% of S&P 500 boards (largely unchanged over the past five years) disclosed a mandatory retirement age for directors, and retirement ages continue to rise, with 46% of boards with caps setting the age at 75 or older, compared to just 15% in 2009.
    • The average total compensation for S&P 500 non-employee directors, excluding independent chairs, is around $303,000, a 2% year-over-year increase. Director pay varies widely by sector, with a $100,000 difference between the average total pay of the highest and lowest paying sectors.
    • The top five recruiting priorities for the next three years are: female directors (40%); technology experience (38%); active CEO/COO (35%); digital/social media experience (29%); and minorities (27%).
 
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