Here’s How Many Fortune 500 Board Seats Women Will Hold in 2016

November 19, 2015, 4:00 PM UTC

The staff of Fortune recently assembled its predictions for 2016. Here’s one of our forecasts.

The number of women running Fortune 500 companies fell in 2015—from 26 to 23—and alas, we’re not optimistic the count will climb dramatically in 2016. But, boardrooms are a different story. Nearly one-third of new Fortune 500 directors appointed in 2014 were women. And of the 5,415 board seats on America’s largest corporations, 1,057 (20%) of them are currently held by females—up 4% from February.

The case for female directors (and a generally diverse boardroom) has been well made in recent years, with evidence mounting that companies with diverse boards perform better. So we estimate that the count will climb another 7% in 2016—to 1,130.

This article is part of the 2016 Fortune Crystal Ball, a package of 33 predictions about business, politics and the economy by the writers and editors of Fortune. To see the entire package, click here.

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