Colorado Nears the National Average for Women on Boards of Directors
New research finds that Colorado increases the proportion of board positions held by women to 23 percent which is within 1 percentage point of the national average
Denver, Colo., July 13, 2021 – Over 85 percent of Colorado public companies now include one or more women on their board of directors, according to the most recent “Women on Colorado Boards: State of the State” analysis conducted by Boardbound by Women’s Leadership Foundation.
This is a reversal from the majority all-male boards seen as recently as 2014. Boardbound’s research also found that 23 percent of board seats at Colorado public companies are held by women as of June 30, 2021. This is an increase of four percentage points over the same research conducted one year ago.
“We are proud of Colorado public companies making signific gains even in a year struggling to control the global pandemic,” said Jo Lynne Whiting, chair of Boardbound by Women’s Leadership Foundation. “This progress in board diversity is important because companies with women on their boards perform better. They have greater profitability, faster earnings growth and fewer financial restatements and controversies.”
Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in Colorado are leading the way with nearly 28 percent of their board positions held by women. For the first time, all of Colorado Fortune 1000 companies include at least one woman on their board, and nearly half of them have three or more women on their boards.
“We also celebrate an increased number of Latinas, Asian and African American women joining Colorado public company boards,” Whiting continued. “Talented women of color have added technology, financial and entrepreneurial skills to the boards they have joined. Opening more board positions to women of color is very important because it improves companies’ success in understanding and marketing to diverse communities.” Of the 56 newly appointed women board directors in the first half of 2021, 20% were identified as women of color.
Another landmark achievement is that thirteen Colorado public companies are governed by gender- balanced boards. In gender-balanced boards, women hold half, or one more or one less, than half of the board seats. The study found that Crucible Acquisition, Viveve Medical, Summit Materials, DaVita Heathcare, Healthpeak Properties, ANGI Homeservices, Crocs, Gates Industrial, Vail Resorts, Whiting Petroleum, Akerna, Gores Guggenheim, and Westwater Resources have gender-balanced boards. This is more than twice the number of companies with a gender-balanced board one year ago.
“Boardbound by Women’s Leadership Foundation believes balanced boards are better. Better for companies and, thus, better for Colorado,” Whiting continued. “We believe Colorado can—and should—be a national leader in board diversity. Our state leads in so many ways. By working together as business leaders, investors, aspiring women preparing for board governance, and the people of
Colorado who reward responsible companies with their loyalty, we can set a national example. However, we are not there yet.”
Other findings from the 2021 State of the State analysis show that while Colorado is making progress, the state still has room to improve. In 2021, Colorado companies that are part of the Russell 3000 lag by one percentage point in board seats held by women, compared to the average for Russell 3000 companies nationwide. Moreover, among the twenty-five states with more than twenty Russell 3000 headquarters, Colorado ranks 16th and is six percentage points below the top state of Minnesota.
The 2021 State of the State study also studied the gender diversity of the Named Executive Officers from the proxies of public companies headquartered in Colorado. As of June 30, 2021, just 16 percent of named executive officer positions were held by women; a data point which has been stagnant over the last year.
Conducted by Boardbound every six months, the “Women on Colorado Boards: State of the State” research examines gender diversity of Colorado’s public company boards. The complete study results will be available on Boardbound by Women Leadership Foundation’s website at www.boardbound.org.