Trends for Women on Boards
The following BOSTON GLOBE article makes the point that the higher the corporate sales,
the more likely that the organization will have women on its Board.
Catalyst, which had restricted its survey to Fortune 500 firms in the past, expanded its study this year to include the nation's top 1,000 companies, measured by revenues. It found that women in this category hold only 8.5 percent of board seats. Catalyst believes the disparity may have to do with revenue: The higher a company's revenue, the more likely it will invite a woman to join its board. Sheila Wellington, president of Catalyst, said yesterday the research group's goal is to advance women in business by focusing on those companies in the Fortune 1,000 and Fortune 500 that have not yet integrated their executive boards. Jann Leeming, owner of Golf at Provence Lake, a golf course in Parsonsfield, Maine, and a member of five boards, said the news was both good and bad. ''Is it significant?'' she asked. ''Yes and no. The problem is that the companies all want the token woman. Many times, you'll find, the same women are serving on so many boards they cannot do the job they would like to do. ''There are a lot of qualified women out there,'' said Leeming, ''but it's the same old stuff. They want high-profile women, women who are associated with very large companies. But women are only now beginning to make it to the very top echelons of companies.''
When the research group looked at board participation rates of minority
women at top US firms, it found they hold only 159 seats on the executive boards of 777
companies. Of those women, 111 are African-American, 25 are Hispanic, and 18 are Asian.
The racial backgrounds of five were not available. ''It takes an active chief executive
officer and a committed board to bring businesswomen with a wide range of experience onto
a board,'' said Donna Latson Gittens, president and chief executive of Watertown marketing
communications firm cause media inc. ''But the common response is, well, we could not find
a woman with a financial background, or we could not find a woman who has run a major
Return To Stybel Peabody Home Page