In the United States, we have a female presidential nominee—so we’ve achieved parity, right? Hardly. While some media outlets often share stories about women having “made it,” our latest Catalyst Census: Women and Men Board Directors proves otherwise. Sadly, it shows that many companies still have a long way to go on the #PathToParity.
“Our new research shows little progress has been made at the board level, and even less progress has been made in the pipeline for women officers and directors—suggesting women are nowhere near the path to parity with men. Men continue to be overrepresented, holding more than their fair share of board seats and, in some cases, all...”—Deborah Gillis, President and CEO.
So how can the United States emulate other countries where intentional, bold action is being taken by businesses and governments to accelerate meaningful, sustainable change? In this issue of C-News, we’ll highlight our Census results as well as action points and tools you and your organization can use to move the needle.
Men held 80.1% of S&P 500 board seats, while women only held 19.9%.
Men held 73.1% of S&P 500 new directorships, while women only held 26.9%.
2.8% of S&P 500 companies had zero women directors; 24.6% had one woman; and only 14.2% of companies had 30% or more women on their boards.
Our Women in S&P 500 Companies Pyramid shows that within S&P 500 companies, women held: 4.2% of CEO positions, 9.5% of top earner positions, 25.1% of executive/senior-level officials and managers positions, 36.4% of first/mid-level officials and managers positions; also, 44.3% of total employees were women.
So What Can Be Done?
Catalyst President & CEO Deborah Gillis had the honor of presenting our Census at the United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C. The summit was convened by the White House to rally women together to celebrate what we’ve achieved and focus on how we’re going to take action moving forward on gender equality issues.
Just last month, Catalyst’s report, Gender Diversity on Boards in Canada: Recommendations for Accelerating Progress—commissioned by the Government of Ontario—offered recommendations to help companies, business leaders and governments advance gender equity on boards and across all levels of organizations. We’re excited to announce that the Government has accepted all 11 recommendations. Check out the report now in English and French.
Our Women On Board™ initiative has expanded to the United States! This initiative promotes the appointment of women to corporate boards by engaging CEOs and board chairs who are committed to improving board diversity, to mentor and sponsor CEO-endorsed women board candidates. Launched in Canada, over 50% of Women On Board™ alumnae have been appointed to corporate boards. Learn more.
The Catalyst Corporate Board Resource connects leadership from organizations with open board positions to board-ready women candidates. CEOs of Catalyst supporting organizations can sponsor senior executive women from their own networks for corporate board opportunities and consult the directory to search for candidates for directorships. Find out how you can sponsor a woman from your organization.
Catalyst Accord: This is a call to action for Canadian companies to make a commitment to diversity on their corporate boards. The Accord aims to push the representation of women on the corporate boards of Financial Post 500 companies to 25% by 2017. Become a signatory today.