Spencer Stuart, a leading executive search and leadership advisory firm, is proud to recognize a new milestone in its board work, helping corporate boards around the world add more than 2,000 female directors.

For more than 40 years, Spencer Stuart has helped boards that share its commitment to increasing the diversity of perspectives in the boardroom find exceptional female directors. In 2018, 40 percent of the firm's global board of director placements were women. Gender diversity was a priority for boards across major regional markets:

  • In the United States, 47 percent of the directors Spencer Stuart helped place were women, outpacing the percentage of new female directors on S&P 500 boards (40 percent). One quarter (25 percent) of these female placements were CEOs/presidents, 18 percent were CFOs/former audit partners and 11 percent were group presidents/CEOs.
  • Forty-four percent (44%) of board director placements in Asia Pacific were women.
  • In Europe, 35 percent of the firm's placements were women.

"We at Spencer Stuart have long recognized that diversity is important and makes for better decision making and richer debate in the boardroom," said Julie Hembrock Daum, leader of Spencer Stuart's North American Board Practice. "We're proud of our track record of helping companies build high-performing, diverse boards and celebrate the contributions and careers of the thousands of women we have helped place. Over the past five years, 35 percent of our global board placements were women, enabling us to double the number of women directors we helped place from 1,000 to 2,000 in just six years."

Spencer Stuart has tracked female director representation for more than two decades and in over 20 countries through its Spencer Stuart Board Index. Its research has found that several European countries lead the pack in gender diversity, with Norway (46%), France (43%) and Sweden (39%) having the highest female representation. It has been the global premier sponsor of the WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation since 2014.

"Throughout Europe, Spencer Stuart actively supports national diversity initiatives designed to improve the representation of women on boards" said Katherine Moos, leader of Spencer Stuart's Board and CEO practice in Europe. "We continue to host a variety of director education and governance development events that support our clients' diversity goals, such as Directors' Forum programs in the UK and Germany and prestigious Board Governance Forums in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland."

"We are seeing broad momentum in support of greater gender diversity, as business leaders, investors, corporate boards and others push for progress," said Ben Williams, chief executive officer of Spencer Stuart. "We have a long-standing commitment to supporting the advancement of diversity in the boardroom and in leadership teams, while helping organizations find the outstanding leaders who will have a lasting positive impact on their business."

To celebrate this milestone and ignite more progress in the boardroom, Spencer Stuart has put together a yearlong program that includes new research and local events around boardroom diversity.

The Spencer Stuart Board Practice helps boards around the world identify and recruit independent directors and provides advice to board chairs, CEOs and nominating committees on important governance issues. In the past year alone, the firm conducted more than 750 director searches. It hosts various director education and governance development initiatives in markets around the world.