Board Composition and Recruiting Trends 2016, an Equilar publication, examines the boards of S&P 500 companies over the last five years, including data on board size, committee structures, mandatory retirement ages, gender and ethnic diversity, director age and tenure, leadership positions, and more.
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The average board in the S&P 500 included 10.9 directors in 2016. The largest average board in 2016 was in the financial sector, whereas the smallest was in the technology sector.
Women directors occupied 21.3% of S&P 500 board seats in 2016, up 4.7 percentage points from 16.6% in 2012.
Nearly twice the percentage of S&P 500 companies included a board skills matrix in their 2016 proxy—12.6%—than in 2015. Finance, international, industry, and leadership experience were among the most popularly disclosed skills.
Of all S&P 500 board seats, 51.0% were occupied by a director who served on multiple boards in 2016. Women were more likely to sit on multiple boards than men.