Women hold just 25.2% of Russell 3000 board seats


In 2018, State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson passed and Governor Jerry Brown enacted SB826, a first-in-the-nation law requiring publicly-traded companies with California headquarters to have at least one woman on their board of directors. By January 1, 2022, the law requires that boards of six or more directors have at least three women, and boards of five have at least two. Our data shows that at least 485 women need to be added to California public company boards by the end of 2021 to fulfill the gender requirement of the law.


The law was based on numerous studies showing that companies with female directors are more profitable. Other studies demonstrate additional benefits to having more than one woman on a corporate board, such as improved crisis management, sustainability practices, workforce engagement, and greater resilience during the 2008 recession and during the Covid19 pandemic. 


In order to understand the effects of this pioneering law, the California Partners Project is tracking the progress of women's representation on California's public company boards through a series of comprehensive progress reports. Through data collection and tracking, we can ensure that the law’s impacts are accurately measured, widely understood, and celebrated.


Our reports show that California's law is working in adding more women to California’s public company boards, but our companies are still missing out on talent by overlooking women of color. In 2018, nearly 30% of California's public company boards were all male; now, less than 1% are. Yet, women of color hold only 6.6% of California’s public company board seats even though females of color comprise 32% of the state’s population. 


The same strategies that have led to the sea change in gender representation on California’s public company boards must now be deployed to bring women of color to the board room. We all have a vested interest in diversifying these bodies so that our companies harness the talent and unique approach diverse women bring to their roles.



Board seats held by men


Board seats held by women


Women needed by 2022



Board Diversity - A Global Approach Podcast

Arnold & Porter's Teresa Johnson discusses Board Diversity in California and the UK with CM Murray's Emma Bartlett, featuring CPPs very own, Olivia Morgan.

2021 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Directory

50/50 Women on Boards tracks, analyzes and publishes the gender composition of the boards of directors of Russell 3000 companies, the largest US-traded stocks.


Deloitte Board Diversity Census

This study examines and chronicles the representation of women and minorities on public company boards of directors across America’s largest companies.

Discover LCDA Latino Board Tracker

Currently, 69% of 2021 Fortune 1000 companies lack a single Latino director on their board. lack a single Latino director on their board. Use this tracker to discover which companies do and don’t have Latino/as on their boards.


Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center Winter 2021 IPO Bootcamp

Join fellow Founders, CEOs, CFOs, General Counsels and their teams at this exclusive webinar designed to help private companies better understand the process behind an initial public offering. During these still challenging, but in many ways optimistic times, our experts will share – how to prepare, ways to avoid pitfalls, and strategies for a successful transition to being a public company.

December 15, 2021, 5:00:00 PM