Boards of CA’s Most Influential Corporations Lack Women, People of Color

Top Companies in Tech, Insurance, Other Key Fields Don’t Come Close to Reflecting State’s Diverse Workforce

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Top corporations in the California marketplace have boards of directors that consistently fail to even come close to reflecting the diversity of the state’s workforce, according to a new analysis by The Greenlining Institute: Corporate Board Diversity: Major Players Fail to Reflect California’s Labor Force. Greenlining examined the boards of a total of 59 companies that dominate the California market in leading industries, including tech, health, banking and insurance. Key findings of the report, based on 2017 statistics include:

Overall, women and people of color remain severely underrepresented on corporate boards. Women made up roughly one quarter of board members, while Latinos held only six percent of board seats.

Seven of 59 companies reviewed — including Facebook, Amazon, Farmers Insurance and two solar companies — had zero people of color on their boards (Facebook added its first nonwhite board member in January). Three had zero women.

Of companies reviewed, East West Bank had the most racially diverse board, followed closely by Kaiser Permanente, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Hewlett Packard.

“Corporate boards play a crucial role, from hiring and firing CEOs to setting corporate culture,” said report coauthor Joe Jackson, Greenlining Institute Diversity and Inclusion manager, “Currently these boards don’t come close to reflecting the diversity of California’s labor force. The ‘glass ceiling’ or ‘good old boys’ club’ — however you want to say it — still very much exists for women and people of color. Until these boards reflect California, our communities won’t have a seat on the table and will continue to be on the menu instead.”

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