2020 Study Of Gender Diversity On Private Company Boards

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Publicly traded companies have faced increasing scrutiny regarding the demographic composition of their boards of directors. Investors, state legislators and, most recently, Nasdaq are advocating for increased diversity in the boardroom, with an emphasis on adding women and people of color. Tracking reports produced by Equilar, Spencer Stuart and others monitor the slow but notable progress in the composition of public company boards.

By contrast, board diversity data for privately held companies is sparse, as they aren’t required to disclose their board membership. In 2019, Him For Her, Crunchbase and Kellogg School of Management Professor Lauren Rivera undertook the first benchmarking study to look at gender diversity on the boards of the most heavily funded U.S.-based private venture-backed companies. Using those findings as a baseline, they updated the study one year later, this time including a preliminary look at racial diversity as well.

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