While women now comprise 47% of the workforce, only 4% of S&P 500 companies have female CEOs – and only one company out of those 500 has achieved gender parity on its board. A significant overall wage gap also remains. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that as of 2015, women still only make $0.79 for every $1.00 made by men, a gap that grows if the woman is a minority. While some research disputes this gap, the reasoning is usually that women work in traditionally lower-paying industries and occupations like healthcare and administration. The IWPR study notes, however, that society continues to segregate these jobs and industries by gender, and that jobs done mainly by women earn roughly 66% less than jobs done mainly by men. Other battles include paid family leave, job security during and after pregnancy, and contraceptive coverage included in company healthcare plans.
There is currently limited transparency into companies’ performance on gender in terms of hiring, pay, and other relevant factors. As a proxy, 2020 Women on Boards has made a list of companies with women on their boards, with a goal of increasing the percentage of women on boards to 20% by 2020. If you select this screen, OpenInvest invests you only in companies with at least one woman on this board. We hope to raise the bar for minimum board seats, and add additional indicators, as progress is made and as more data becomes available.