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US company boards improved gender parity, but still lag behind other countries

October 31, 2019 / Ryan Golden

Just 17.6% of U.S. board seats are held by women, but that number still represents an increase from 14.2% a year ago, according to a report published Wednesday by Deloitte Global. The U.S. remains behind other countries in this metric. Women held 21.4% of board seats in Canada and 22.7% of seats in the U.K. In six nations — Norway, France, Sweden, Finland, New Zealand and Belgium — women held at least 30% of board seats. Legislation and changes to corporate governance play a role in countries with higher percentages, Deloitte noted. Of the six nations with 30% or more female representation, three (Norway, France and Belgium) have implemented gender quota legislation. Companies in Sweden, Finland and New Zealand have addressed the problem through self-regulation and corporate governance recommendations, Deloitte said.