Among the findings:
- Women held only 16.9% of corporate board seats in 2013, indicating no significant year-over-year uptick for the 8th straight year. And only 14.6% of Executive Officer positions were held by women—the 4th consecutive year of no year-over-year growth.
- Women of color continued to fare particularly poorly, holding just 3.2% of all board seats.
- 10% of companies had no women serving on their boards; more than 2/3 of companies had no women of color directors.
- Women held only 8.1% of top earner slots—again no change from prior year.
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“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.” said Ilene H. Lang, President & CEO, Catalyst. “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.”
For some major US companies, advancing women to leadership is “business as usual”—a critical and achievable goal.
“Attracting the best talent is still the most important factor in business success and is every leader’s number one priority,” said Thomas Falk, Chairman & CEO, Kimberly-Clark Corporation. “Companies that have improved their representation of women are attractive employers to all the talent available. For those that have not improved, you have to wonder how long they can be successful if they are only hiring from half of the talent available. This issue is not about equity or fairness, it’s about winning.”
“Catalyst’s 2013 Census showing the continued shortage of women in America’s C-suites, Boards of Directors and as top earners is a call to action,” said Maggie Wilderotter, Chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications. “I encourage corporate procurement leaders to require vendors to include their record of hiring and promoting women and the number of women board members as part of their bids. Logic, fairness and hope have not done the job, but doing business with companies that champion women can set a standard and have an impact.”