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Lull in Bank Board Gender Gains Doesn’t Signal Lack of Movement

  • Most bank boards already surpassed 30% female director mark
  • Shift to women is leading to younger directors with new skills
Citigroup Inc. has the most women on its board.

Citigroup Inc. has the most women on its board.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

An unusual two-month stall in changes among female directors in the S&P 500 Banks Index isn’t a signal that financial companies have cooled their focus on more parity in the boardrooms, said Tim Holt, a partner at executive recruiter Heidrick & Struggles.

“We’ve seen this lull before in broader data, but the long-term trend is still toward greater diversity and inclusion, and in particular gender parity, as a priority,” said Holt, whose focus areas include board appointments and the financial- services sector. Board appointments don’t follow any predictable schedule outside of annual meeting changes, he said.