Catalyst released some interesting statistics about women in business in the United States this month.
Check out some of the information available in the Catalyst U.S. Women in Business report:
- Percentage of women in the U.S. labor force: 46.3%
- Percentage of women in management, professional and related occupations: 50.6%
- Percentage of female Fortune 500 corporate officers: 15.4%
- Percentage of female Fortune 500 board seats: 14.8%
- Percentage of female Fortune 500 top earners: 6.7%
- Percentage of female Fortune 500 CEOs: 2.4%
Here are some statistics from the Catalyst Women CEOs of the Fortune 1000 report:
- Number of female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies: 12
- Number of female CEOs in Fortune 501-1000 companies: 10
- Total female CEOS in Fortune 1000 companies: 22
Looks like the business world has a long way to go to reach anything close to equality in leadership. Your thoughts?
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Scrappy Kimberly Wiefling says
After reviewing these statistics a thoughtful person must conclude that either women are inadequate to the task of business leadership, or this is the result of bias – whether accidental or purposeful, it really doesn’t matter. I’m a physicist, and I look at the data to decide what is going on. This data tells me that the playing field for women is far from level. Research on selection of orchestra members, reported in Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Blink”, demonstrated that equal numbers of women and men are selected when the judges don’t know whether the musicians playing are men or women. When they DO know, men are preferentially selected. Let’s not delude ourselves, women have a higher hill to climb than men to get to the top. That’s part of the reason women are starting their own businesses. No one can stop us from being the CEO of our own business! Stay Scrappy!
Gloria Watanabe says
It seems the best way for women to get ahead is to start at the top. More and more women are starting their own companies, and succeeding. The business world may soon look like the college campus with more women than men running their own companies.
I’m a chess player and did you know that of more than 1000 grandmasters in the world only about a dozen are women? Is it because of discrimination on the chess board? Has it occurred to you that men might simply be achieving more on their merits and that women should look to themselves for an answer to why they have seen less success? Is science preventing them from making more discoveries? Is the Nobel committee discriminating against women too? Less than 10% of Nobel Prizes are awarded to women.
Other than lack of achievement, what is the evidence that women are being discriminated against? Should we pitch underhand to women in every area where they compete with men?
The stats are of year 2008, but in 4 years how much could have changed. I wonder. I am doing a campaign for small business women to help out in branding and marketing activities and just wanted to know the stats on women in business and workforce. In search results this page showed up and engaged me. The scanty percentage reaching towards the top is so disheartening. Could it be the underlying discrimination, or the priorities that women themselves choose on account of families. There must be an increasing number of women opting out of corporate careers to do something of their own to balance between work and family. This kind of work does mean creating opportunities for self as well as others. It can be definitely much more challenging in terms of earnings. But the plus is “being the decision maker” and managing it in own time.
A new site will be launching on International Women’s Day – March 8, 2013 – that will be featuring women CEOs of public companies and give a financial report on their companies, starting with TSX, NYSE & NASDAQ – http://www.GETAnalysis.ca – we ask that you kindly look out for us!
Ann gets close. When controlling for education, job, and experience, women and men make the same (within 2%). For example, a female electrical engineer with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and, say, 15 years experience, will make the same as a male coworker in the same position, with the same degree, and with the same number of years of job experience. If this were not true, no company run by someone sane would hire men (if I can get the same quality and quantity of work out of an easily discernible section of my applicant pool, but pay them 30% less, I’d have to be a moron to hire anyone else). Of course, even in this situation you have to be careful when looking at their wages. Because the male will typically have 15 years work experience just 15 years after college. The female typically will take 20 years after college to have 15 years experience (she takes 5 years off to have kids and raise them to school age).
Women make “less”, only when you take the average income of all women and compare it to the average income of all men. On average, women choose to take jobs that pay less because they want jobs that are safer, or offer more flexible hours, or some other quality of life issue. Men take jobs based primarily on income, and so wind up in jobs that are less safe (when was the last time you heard about 37 female miners being trapped due to a tunnel collapse? Men are far more likely to die on the job than women), or involve longer hours away from family, or longer commutes, etc. So you can’t just look at the percentages of men and women in the general population and say that there must be discrimination in field “X” because the percentage of women in that field is less than that of men. The “population” you need to look at is those who DESIRE to be in field “X”. If that’s 90% male and 10% female, then expecting a 50-50 split between males and females ACTUALLY in field “X” is not realistic.
Women make up the majority of CEOs in this country, they also make up the majority of business owners. So why aren’t they the majority of Fortune 500 (or 1,000) CEOs? Well, again, what is the population of people who desire to be such CEOs? Well, a few years back, a survey was taken of business majors in college. One of the questions asked was if it was a career goal of the respondent to become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Of those who said yes, 90% were male, and 10% female. Now since this wasn’t a survey of all business people (which includes people who never went to college as Business majors – although they may have a degree in something else), we don’t know what the actual male/female ratio is in the population of people who “want to be a Fortune 500 CEO”, but perhaps it indicates that the actual ratio we have isn’t as far out of line as the article would lead you to believe.