State of the American Boardroom

State of the American Boardroom

NACD explores a wide variety of topics that make their way onto board agendas. The State of the American Boardroom surveys are a valuable resource for boards seeking affirmation that their governance practices are effective, fit for purpose, and clearly communicated to stakeholders. It is comprised of four different surveys taken over the calendar year. The trends and insights highlighted here can help boards assess priorities, explore emerging business themes, and evaluate the effectiveness of their oversight practices and their governance approaches.


Key Findings

  • Boards get organized and formalize their oversight of human capital

    Human capital is a growing point of focus on the boardroom agenda, and many boards have begun to formalize their governance structure, processes, and practices to oversee this critical asset. A majority of boards now discuss an enterprise-wide talent development strategy (68%) and a majority of respondents indicate that their board discusses human capital strategy on a more regular basis, as a recurring agenda item (57%).

    2022 NACD Public Company: Board Practices and Oversight Survey

  • Incremental Progress Toward Gender Parity

    The gender balance on corporate boards is continuing to improve. 41 percent of incoming directors were women, while 59 percent of incoming directors were men. In light of the gender breakdown of departing directors—83 percent were men and 17 percent were women—this has made the overall Russell 3000 Index companies’ gender breakdown 73 percent men and 27 percent women.

    Inside the Public Company Boardroom

  • Board Attention Is Focused on Trends Impacting the Future of Work

     Four of the top five trends directors believe will most influence their organizations in 2021 reflect changes in the way work was done over the past year. These trends include the increasing pace of digital transformation (50%), ensuring safe working environments for employees (49%), changing cybersecurity threats (39%), and increased competition for talent (38%).

    Trends and Priorities of the American Boardroom