Knowledge Center

The 2009 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners details women’s representation in senior leadership positions at the largest companies in the United States. For the first time, Catalyst focused on Executive Officers, a segment of the Corporate Officer population as defined in previous Catalyst Census reports. This population change precludes data comparisons to previous annual Corporate Officer Catalyst Census reports. This report provides critical statistics to gauge women’s advancement and highlights the gender diversity gap. Catalyst measured women’s share of Executive Officer positions and of top earner positions and the percent of companies having zero to three or more women Executive Officers. The appendices show additional points of comparison by Fortune Rank, Region, and Industry, and list companies with the highest and lowest representation of women Executive Officers.

In 2009, women held 13.5 percent of Executive Officer positions at Fortune 500 companies. Executive Officer compensation remains a visible indicator of women’s status in corporations, with women holding 6.3 percent of top earner positions. Less than one-fifth of companies have three or more women Executive Officers, and almost one-third of companies have none.

Sponsor: Ernst & Young