Knowledge Center

2005 Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners of the Fortune 500

This year marks the tenth year that Catalyst has tracked the number of women in Fortune 500 corporate officer positions. The census lists the corporate officer titles that women held alphabetically by company and companies with women top earners. The census also provides lists of the numbers of women corporate officers and total corporate officers by company revenue, industry, and state and documents the shares of women and men of color corporate officer and in top earner positions. The report represents the gender diversity of corporate governance at Fortune 500 companies as of March 31, 2005.

The 2005 Census shows that, in the last three years, growth in the percentage of corporate officer positions held by women slowed to a ten year low. In 2005, women held 16.4 percent of corporate officer positions, only 0.7 percentage points more than they did in 2002. Furthermore, the percentage of corporate officer positions held by women of color stagnated at 1.7 percent. In addition, only 6.4 percent of corporate officer top earners were women. A deeper look into corporate officer status shows that while women were almost two and one-half times as likely to hold staff positions as they were to hold line positions, men were only slightly more likely to hold staff positions than line positions. Women also held 9.4 percent of the highest executive titles, up from 7.9 percent in 2002. Eight companies in the Fortune 500 were led by a woman CEO, compared with six in 2002.

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