2013 CWDI Report:

Women Board Directors of Fortune Global 200 and Beyond

Key Findings

·         For the first time, the United States lost its leading role as the country with the highest percentage of women directors in the Fortune Global 200.  With a quarter of its directors now women, France tops the U.S. 25.1% to 20.9%.

·         The overall percentage of women board directors in the 200 largest companies globally now stands at 15% -- an increase of only 1.2% since the 2011 CWDI Report.  In order for this percentage to change dramatically, the three countries with the most number of large companies in the Fortune ranking – U.S., Japan and China – must boost their appointments of women to board seats. 

·         Almost a quarter of these large companies -- 47, or 23.5% -- still have all-male Boards of Directors.  The majority of these companies are based in Asia.


·         European countries increased their percentage of women directors substantially since 2011. Women now occupy 17.6% of boards seats in Europe compared to 15.3% in 2011.  During the same period, the percentage of women on boards in the countries in the Americas barely ticked up, from 19.3% to 19.5% over the past 18 months, while the percentage of women board directors in the Asia-Pacific region jumped from 5% to 5.9%.

·         The three countries whose companies had the largest percentage increases in women directors since 2004 were France (7.2% to 25.1%), Spain (1.9% to 12.7%), and Italy (1.8% to 9.3%).  All three have quotas for women directors.


·         Countries with quotas for women directors continue to outperform those without these initiatives.  The 34 Fortune Global 200 companies based in countries with quotas had a higher percentage of women on boards (18.9%) than the average percentage of women directors – 15% -- of all companies in the Fortune listing.

·         Similarly, the 54 Fortune Global 200 companies based in countries that have gender or board diversity requirements in their corporate governance codes also had a higher percentage of women directors at 19.9%. 

·         More Companies Continue to Reach Critical Mass of 3 or more women board directors.  67 companies now have three or more directors. Compared to 2011 when 56 companies had three or more directors

·         First in CWDI’s “Top Ten” list of companies with the highest percentage of female directors is Procter and Gamble with 45.6% of its board being female (5 out of 11).   Deutsche Bank and Wellpoint place second with 40%. Third on the list are two French companies with six women board directors each on boards of 16 – BNP Paribas and Société Générale. 

·         A record number of companies – 26 – made it to the Top Ten listing of best performers in terms of naming women to board seats.  The U.S. with 13 companies and France with 7 companies dominated this listing.