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So much for progress: The number of women appointed to boards is declining

There were fewer women appointed to boards in 2016, marking the end of a seven-year streak of gains, according to Heidrick & Struggles’ annual analysis of  Fortune 500 boards. Specifically, only 27.8% of new director appointments at Fortune 500 companies were women, a 2% percent decline from the previous year. At this rate, it will take until 2032 to reach parity.

This decline comes despite the efforts of organizations dedicated to increasing representation like theBoardlist and the Thirty Percent Coalition. A report from Boston Consulting Group suggests that the problem is systemic within companies. A majority of companies have diversity measures in place, but nearly three out of four women feel that they do not make a difference. 

LD