No Progress for Women in Business Says 2013 Census of Fortune 500

The results of the Catalyst 2013 Census of Fortune 500 Women Board Directors and 2013 Census of Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners were released this month along with a clear but disturbing message, “Still no progress after years of no progress.”

Ilene H. Lang, President and CEO of Catalyst, responded to the findings saying, “It’s hard to believe that at the end of 2013 we still see more than a few all-male corporate boards and leadership teams. Diverse business leadership and governance are correlated with stronger business performance, employee engagement, and innovation. Shareholders beware: a company with no women at the top is missing one of the biggest opportunities in the marketplace today.”

Some of the key findings from the study are provided below.

Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners

  • 14.6% of executive officer positions were held by women in 2013 (up from 14.3% in 2013)
  • 8.1% of executive officer top earner positions were held by women in 2013 (no change from 8.1% in 2012).
  • 27.0% of Fortune 500 companies had no women in executive officer positions (down from 27.8% in 2012).
  • 19.7% of Fortune 500 companies had 25% or more women executive officers (down from 20.1% in 2012).
  • 4.1% of Fortune 500 companies had 40% of more women executive officers (up from 2.8% in 2012).

Fortune 500 Women Board Directors

  • 16.9% of Fortune 500 board seats were held by women in 2013 (up from 16.6% in 2012).
  • 3.1% of board chair seats were held by women in 2013 (down from 3.3% in 2012).
  • 9.9% of lead director seats were held by women in 2013 (up from 8.4% in 2012).
  • 16.2% of audit committee chair seats were held by women in 2013 (up from 15.9% in 2012).
  • 11.9% of compensation committee chair seats were held by women in 2013 (up from 11.3% in 2012).
  • 19.8% of nominating/governance chair seats were held by women in 2013 (up from 19.0% in 2012).
  • 10.2% of Fortune 500 companies had no women directors (down from 10.3% in 2012).
  • 18.5% of Fortune 500 companies had 25% or more women directors (down from 19.3% in 2012).
  • 1.6% of Fortune 500 companies had 40% of more women directors (down from 1.8% in 2012).

According to the Catalyst report, this is the eighth consecutive year that there has been no significant year-over-year increase in the number of women in Fortune 500 board rooms. Similarly, this is the fourth year in a row that there has been no significant year-over-year growth in the number of executive officer positions held by women in Fortune 500 companies.

Considering the fact that research shows time and again that a more diverse board room and executive team drives better overall results, these results are extremely disappointing. The path to closing the gender gap at the highest levels of Fortune 500 leadership remains very long.

Susan Gunelius

Susan Gunelius is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Women on Business. She is a 20-year veteran of the marketing field and has authored ten books about marketing, branding, and social media, including the highly popular 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing for Dummies, Blogging All-in-One for Dummies and Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps. Susan’s marketing-related content can be found on Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, and more. Susan is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has worked in corporate marketing roles and through client relationships with AT&T, HSBC, Citibank, Intuit, The New York Times, Cox Communications, and many more large and small companies around the world. Susan also speaks about marketing, branding and social media at events around the world and is frequently interviewed by television, online, radio, and print media organizations about these topics. She holds an MBA in Management and Strategy and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusYouTube

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you Susan for showing us the work that needs to be done, the excellent research, and providing a baseline and spring board for business women everywhere.

  2. says

    I am not sure, but I believe there are still many women out there that see themselves as less than, or are unable to cope with the many struggles we are faced with today economically, socially, and at home. Leading to many not feeling good enough or being a peace with what they can achieve within the work, their partner, their family, and their home. For me this is a very important issue, and I wanted to be able to shout this from the top of the roof – that every women deserves to discover their inner warrior. They deserve to feel this. And I believe Kainda provides the solution. Hoping you also can understand this personal viewpoin and if you would like to see how I believe we can achieve this, see my campaign that is running at the moment. thttp://igg.me/at/Kainda/