Photo Release -- U.S. Corporate Boards Accelerating Appointments of Female Directors; Women Now Hold One-Fifth of Board Seats

Women in the Boardroom Infographic
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  • Female director appointments in 2014 register largest increase since Heidrick & Struggles began studying board gender data in 2009.
  • Progress is still slow—women are projected to achieve parity with men on U.S. boards in 2042.

CHICAGO, June 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After five years of slow but steady progress in the number of women serving as directors on the boards of Fortune 500 companies, the latest data shows a sharper increase in female directorship.

Heidrick & Struggles - Women in the Boardroom Infographic

A photo accompanying this release is available at

Research conducted by Heidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq:HSII), a premier provider of senior-level Executive Search, Culture Shaping and Leadership Consulting services, reports that as of 2014, women now hold 20.2% of total Fortune 500 board seats—an increase from 18.7% in 2013 and 17.2% in 2009, when the research began.

"Corporations are bringing women onto their boards of directors in increasing numbers. That will result in greater diversity of thinking and, ultimately, better governance and wider-ranging strategic insights," said Bonnie Gwin, vice chairman and managing partner of Heidrick & Struggles' Board Practice in North America.

Driving the increased appointment of women on boards is a greater appreciation for the benefits of diverse insights, Gwin said. "The trend today is clear. Board selection committees are becoming acutely aware that women are underrepresented in the boardroom and that the fresh perspectives they bring can be good for the bottom line."

With the latest data included, the trend of corporate board composition indicates women will hold 50% of Fortune 500 director seats for the first time—28 years from now in 2042.

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Source:Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc.