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S&P 500 Pyramid: Methodology

Purpose

The Catalyst Pyramid visually highlights the gender leadership gap at S&P 500 companies. The Pyramid shows that while women’s overall representation is close to parity, men are overrepresented within the upper tiers of the Pyramid (e.g., leadership positions, high-level management, board of director seats, CEOs).

Data

The 2018 Catalyst Pyramid is based on data about S&P 500 companies as retrieved on January 8, 2018.1 Catalyst studies the companies in the S&P 500 index because they reflect large-cap US equity markets and are widely recognized as the leading companies in various US industries.2 The S&P 500 index is owned by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC.

Catalyst’s Women in S&P 500 Companies Pyramid data are derived from four sources: 1) Catalyst, Women CEOs of the S&P 500; 2) EY Center for Board Matters, 2016 Top Earners in S&P 500 Companies, Unpublished data; 3) Catalyst, 2016 Catalyst Census: Women and Men Board Directors (2017); and 4) U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Unpublished 2015 S&P 500 EEO-1 data.

 

Women CEOS of the S&P 500 

Catalyst updates the Women CEOs of the S&P 500 List as we become aware of women being appointed to (or departing) CEO positions at S&P 500 companies.3 Women are counted as of the date they assume (or leave) the CEO position, not the day the executive change is announced. The “Update” date on each pyramid reflects the date of the most recent revision to the Women CEOs of the S&P 500 list that impacted the specific pyramid data. The CEO data is the only data point that is updated regularly.

 

2016 Top Earners in the S&P 500

Analysis is based on companies in the S&P 500 index at the time of their 2016 annual meetings as disclosed in proxy statements filed with the SEC. An individual was considered a top earner if they  appeared  in  the summary compensation table. Companies are required to disclose five to seven top earners. Data are provided by the EY Center for Board Matters. All reasonable steps were taken to ensure the accuracy of the data.

Unpublished 2015 S&P 500 EEO-1 Data 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provided aggregated EEO-1 survey data. The EEO-1 Report is a compliance survey mandated by federal statute and regulations for companies with 50 or more employees. The survey requires company employment data to be organized by race/ethnicity, gender, and job category.4 Survey data from the 2015 EEO-1 about S&P 500 companies5 was aggregated by the EEOC and included Single Establishment or Consolidated Multi-Establishment Forms submitted by firms that reported employment figures about part- time and full-time employees from a single pay period between July and September 2015.6

Definitions and Calculation Notes 

Pyramid Title

Definitions

% Calculations for Women in S&P 500 Companies Pyramid

CEO

The principal executive officer. Typically these individuals have the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The sum of all S&P 500 principal executive officer positions held by women divided by the sum of all S&P 500 principal executive officer positions.

Calculations are based on S&P 500 companies as of January 8, 2018.

Top Earners

The individuals listed in the summary compensation table for companies in the S&P 500 index at the time of their 2016 annual meetings as disclosed in proxy statements filed with the SEC. For analysis purposes, this means that a company can have up to seven top earners reported.8

The sum of all S&P 500 top earner positions held by women divided by the sum of all S&P 500 top earner positions.

Calculations are based on S&P 500 companies included in EY Center for Board Matters, 2016 Top Earners in S&P 500 Companies, Unpublished data.

Board Seats

The members of the board of directors for companies in the S&P 500 index at the time of their 2016 annual meetings as disclosed in proxy statements filed with the SEC. Analysis is based on board seats and not individuals. Directors can serve on more than one company’s board. For example, an individual director who serves on the board of Company A and Company B would hold two board seats and be counted twice.

The sum of all S&P 500 board seats held by women divided by the sum of all S&P 500 board seats.

Calculations are based on S&P 500 companies included in the 2016 Catalyst Census: Women and Men Board Directors.

Executive/Senior-Level Officials and Managers

Individuals who plan, direct, and formulate policies, set strategy, and provide the overall direction for companies, within the parameters set by the boards of directors. Typically, this includes individuals within two reporting levels of the
CEO (e.g., COOs, CFOs, line of business heads, presidents or executive vice presidents of functional areas, chief information officers, chief
human resources officers, chief marketing officers, chief legal officers, management directors, and managing partners).9

The sum of all S&P 500 executive/senior-level officials and managers positions held by women divided by the sum of all S&P 500 executive/ senior-level officials and managers positions.

Calculations are based on 487 S&P 500 companies (97.4% of S&P 500 constituents as of January 3, 2017) that were linked by the EEOC to an EEO-1 submission.

First/Mid-Level Officials and Managers

Individuals who typically lead major business units and report into executive/ senior-level management. Includes those who oversee the delivery of products, services, or functions at group, regional, or divisional levels within the parameters
set by Executive/Senior Level management (e.g., vice presidents and directors; group, regional or divisional controllers; treasurers; human resources, information systems, marketing, and operations managers).10

The sum of all S&P 500 first/ mid-level officials and managers positions held by women divided by the sum of all S&P 500 first/mid-level officials and managers positions.

Calculations are based on 487 S&P 500 companies 97.4% of S&P 500 constituents as of January 3, 2017) that were linked by the EEOC to an EEO-1 submission.

Total Industry Employees

The aggregate of all part- and full-time employees.11

The sum of all S&P 500 positions held by women divided by the sum of all S&P 500 positions. 

Calculations are based on 487 S&P 500 companies (97.4% of S&P 500 constituents as of January 3, 2017) that were linked by the EEOC to an EEO-1 submission.

 

Methodology Change

Prior to 2014, the Catalyst Pyramids compiled data about Fortune 500 companies, based on Catalyst research, and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of households providing data about the US labor force.19 At the time, these sources provided the best measure of the US economy’s gender gap.

Since 2014, Catalyst research has studied S&P 500 companies as a US economic indicator. To maintain consistency, the Pyramid also changed from Fortune 500 companies to S&P 500 companies. In combination with data from the EEOC, the Pyramids display data specific to S&P 500 companies for each tier, resulting in more meaningful comparisons. 

 

How to cite this product: Catalyst, S&P 500 Pyramid: Methodology (June 6, 2018).