While women’s representation in top executive positions shows few new cracks in the glass ceiling, more Fortune 500 companies have advanced women in large numbers, according to the 2000 Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners. Ten percent, 50, of Fortune 500 companies have women holding a quarter or more of corporate officer titles, twice the number since 1995, when Catalyst began measuring this data. Even more promising, four companies have reached more than 40 percent women corporate officers: Ikon Office Solutions, SLM Holdings, PacifiCare Health Systems, and Nordstrom. Yet, 90 Fortune 500 companies have no women corporate officers in 2000, not much progress since 1995 when 115 companies had no women officers.
Women corporate officers number 1,622 out of 12,945, or 12.5 percent, as of March 31, 2000, compared to 979 out of 11,241, or 8.7 percent in 1995.
Women top earners represent 4.1 percent (93) of all top earners in 2000, compared to 3.3 percent (77) last year, and 1.2 percent (29) in 1995. In terms of line officer positions—those with profit-and-loss responsibility that often lead to top spots—women hold only 7.3 percent of all line officer positions, while men hold 92.7 percent of all line officer jobs.
"In the race for talent some companies are starting to get it," said Sheila Wellington, president of Catalyst. "It’s certainly not time to declare victory and go home. But over time these small incremental increases add up to real change."
Only two women CEOs currently are at the helm of companies in the Fortune 500: Carleton S. Fiorina at Hewlett-Packard and Andrea Jung at Avon Products. This year, women represent 6.2 percent of "clout" titles, compared to 5.1 percent last year, and 1.9 percent in 1995. Clout titles, the positions that wield the most policy-making power, include CEO, chairman, vice chairman, president, COO, senior executive vice president, and executive vice president.
The percentage of women of color in senior ranks remains unchanged from last year at 1.3 percent (400 companies in the Fortune 500 reported on women of color).
The 2000 Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners lists the number and titles of women corporate officers and top earners of each of the Fortune 500 companies, cross-referencing the companies by industry and state. Catalyst seeks verification from each company of this data, as reported by Catalyst in last year’s Census and/or the company’s Fiscal Year 1999 Annual Report; the verification rate was 78 percent. The census observes a cut-off date of March 31, 2000. For the second time, this Census also presents aggregated data on the number and percent of women of color corporate officers. Catalyst first published this Census, sponsored by Sara Lee Corporation, in 1996, several years after the publication of the first Catalyst Census of Women Board Directors of the Fortune 500.
Catalyst is the nonprofit research and advisory organization working to advance women in business. The leading source of information on women in business for the past four decades, Catalyst has the knowledge and tools that help companies and women maximize their potential. For additional information, please visit our website at www.catalystwomen.org or call 212-514-7600.