America’s boardrooms may be getting more diverse than ever before—but they’re also getting older. Much older.
That’s the finding of a new study by proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services released this week, which found that the average age of directors in the Russell 3000 hit 61.5 in 2019, up from 59.7 in 2008. Meanwhile, the number of directors under the age of 45 hit an all-time low of 7.2 percent in 2019—down sharply from 11.5 percent in 2008.
“As incumbent directors stay on boards with the passing of time,” Subodh Mishra, Executive Director at Institutional Shareholder Services, writes, “the overall percentage of directors above the age of 67 years continues to increase, reaching a record high of 31.6 percent of all directorships in 2019, compared to 22.1 percent in 2008. We observe the opposite trend in relation to younger directors, whereby the proportion of directors younger than 45 years has dropped by almost 40 percent from 5.1 percent of directorships in 2008 to 3.2 of directorships in 2019.”