Knowledge Center

2012 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors

Download the summary.

This census provides critical statistics to gauge women’s advancement into leadership and highlights the gender diversity gap. Each year Catalyst tracks:

  • Women’s share of all board seats and of positions of board leadership.
  • The representation of women of color directors.
  • Companies with 0 percent, 25 percent or more, and 40 percent or more women directors.
  • Companies with zero to three or more women of color directors.

The appendices provide additional points of comparison by region and industry as well as list companies with the highest and lowest representation of women board directors.

  • In 2012, women held 16.6 percent of board seats at Fortune 500 companies.
  • In both 2011 and 2012, less than one-fifth of companies had 25 percent or more women directors, while one-tenth had no women serving on their boards. In 2012, women of color held 3.3 percent of all board seats.

In response to the stagnant growth in women board directors, Catalyst has created the Corporate Board Resource, a unique directory of CEO-endorsed board-ready women.

Mentor Circle Sponsor: Ernst & Young
Research Partners: BloombergBMO Financial GroupChevron CorporationCredit SuisseDell Inc.Deloitte LLPDesjardins GroupDeutsche Bank AGErnst & YoungGeneral Motors CompanyHewlett-Packard CompanyIBM CorporationKeyBankMcDonald’s CorporationSodexo, Inc.UPS