A new report on diversity in the board rooms of publicly traded US companies reveals something startling: there are more men with spots on the boards of major S&P 1500 companies with the name John, Robert, William or James than all the women on those boards combined.
Ernst & Young Global Limited broke down the numbers, looking at changes in gender diversity across boardrooms at US companies in 2013. While they have faith that increased turnover in leadership could shift the gender balance more drastically than it's been shifted in the past, the recent numbers do not look good. As the Washington Post reports, EY found that 2,150 of 13,850 board seats were held by women, while 2,200 of those board seats were held by men named John, Robert, Williams or James.
"The pace of change is absolutely glacial," says Karyn Twaronite, the firm's global diversity and inclusion officer told the Washington Post. "The idea that we can essentially pick out four common men's names, at random, and find this shows there's a long way to go." The Post also mocked up this helpful pie chart, in case the reality of this situation isn't quite setting in.
Image via EY