As we have long discussed on this Blog, corporate boards are not diverse. In 2013, approximately 14% of directors were women and/or minorities. In the S&P 500, the average number of women on a board is two (although approximately 9% have no women). In the S&P 1500, the average is one.
The usual explanation for this is the dearth of qualified candidates. The idea that, among executives, professors, lawyers, politicians, non-profits, etc. there are not enough qualified women and minorities is inaccurate. Over time, however, the argument becomes harder to make with a straight face. This can be seen with particular clarity in connection with educational trends.
Recent figures put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a growing educational divide between men and women. As the Bureau provides: "By 27 years of age, 32 percent of women had received a bachelor's degree, compared with 24 percent of men." Of course, there are not likely to be very many 27 year olds on the board (although Chelsea Clinton was elected to a board of a public company at 31). Nonetheless, the statistics suggest that boards lacking in meaningful diversity are not projecting a particularly progressive image to what is increasingly the most educated segment of the U.S. population.