Despite growing shareholder pressure on companies to diversify its boards with more women, board seats rarely become available, the Wall Street Journal reports, preventing more women from having a literal seat at the table.
Little turnover amongst boards of directors is common nationally. The average director stays in the role for more than a decade, according to new research from the Conference Board, which studied Russell 3000 companies.
As a result, boardrooms remain the preserve of older, mostly white men: Only 10% of Russell 3000 directors are 50 or younger, while about one-fifth are older than 70. Just half of all Russell 3000 boards made any director changes in 2018, and 20% remain all male.
Another side effect is that women—and new blood, in general—are only slowly changing the makeup of boards. However, there hasn’t been much momentum around term limits and other systematic approaches to speeding up turnover.