Women Lead More Than One-Third of S&P 500 Board Committees
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Women Lead More Than One-Third of S&P 500 Board Committees

March 22, 2023 | Report

Women hold nearly 34 percent of committee chairs in the S&P 500, which is higher than the 31 percent share they hold of director seats.  Both of those percentages have been growing steadily in the past five years.


Insight for What’s Ahead

As committee chairs, the women (and men) who lead these committees may have greater impact on the company than their predecessors because the remit of board committees is expanding. For example, over half the compensation committees in the S&P 500 now have responsibility for some other area relating to human capital management, including talent development and diversity, equity & inclusion. (As shown below, women now lead 42 percent of the compensation committee’s at the largest US public companies.)


As the responsibilities of board committees is expanding, the requirements for leading a committee are evolving as well. Today committee chairs need not only experience and fluency in the subject matter of their committee, and to have earned the respect of their follow directors, but also:

  • To serve as effective strategic partners with management in charting the company’s course;
  • To help their committee manage a greater set of ESG responsibilities, as well as coordinate with other committees in areas of overlapping jurisdiction; 
  • To be receptive to change; and
  • To engage directly—and effectively—with the firm’s investors and other stakeholders.

 Read the report on the Roles of the Board in ESG and Stakeholder Capitalism




President and CEO
Society for Corporate Governance
The Conference Board ESG Center