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Board Rooms Are Becoming More Politically Polarized

Study finds growing partisanship among top executives at the biggest US companies

RF Board Room office meeting
Source: asbe/Getty Images

For all the handwringing among US conservatives that companies are increasingly imposing their liberal social agenda on workers and customers, a new study finds that top executives have become more Republican, and c-suites more ideologically like-minded, over the past decade.

The share of Republican executives was 68% in 2020, up from 63% in 2008, according to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. The authors also found that in the same period executive teams have become about 8% more politically homogenous at S&P 1500 firms as measured by teams’ breakdowns of registered Republicans and Democrats. In short: Where a boardroom may once have been filled by a mix of Democrats and Republicans, it’s now more likely to be predominately red or blue.