In a nutshell: According to the findings, women held 22.6 percent of board seats at companies on the MSCI ACWI Index, compared to 21.1 percent in 2020. While it was a small increase, MSCI said the rate of change year-over-year improved after a slowdown in the number of women holding board positions in 2020.

The Numbers:
When broken down to regions and countries, women’s representation on corporate boards varies.

  • Among developed markets, European countries including Spain, France and Italy had the highest percentage (78.7 percent) of companies with at least 30 percent women directors.
  • Companies in the U.S. and Canada had a little more than half (51.8 percent) of board seats filled by women.

On the other end of the spectrum, some countries have many MSCI-listed corporations with boards of directors that are entirely men.

  • All 12 companies from Qatar had no women on their boards.
  • Even some countries that have a larger number of firms on the MSCI index are major offenders; in South Korea, almost half (42 percent) of the 101 firms on the index had all-male directors.

Insights from CQ Roll Call, Part of FiscalNote