Women's Progress Nonexistent at the Top

Women are making glacially slow progress up the corporate ladder.

New research released yesterday from Catalyst, a New York City-based nonprofit dedicated to expanding opportunities for women, mostly through research, shows that increases in top positions for women have been virtually nonexistent during the past year.

"Despite high-profile news about gender gaps, equal pay and women on boards, once again the needle barely budged for women aspiring to top business leadership in corporate America," Catalyst said in a release.

Among the findings in the two reports, "http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/2012-catalyst-census-fortune-500-women-board-directors">2012 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors" and "http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/2012-catalyst-census-fortune-500-women-executive-officers-and-top-earners">2012 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Executive Officers and Top Earners":

• Women’s share of board of director and executive officer positions increased by only half a percentage point or less during the past year. • Women held only 16.6 percent of board seats in 2012—the seventh consecutive year of no growth. • Women held 14.3 percent of executive officer positions—the metric flat-lined for the third straight year. • Women of color held only 3.3 percent of board seats, indicating no growth. • More than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies had no women of color board directors for the fifth consecutive year. • Women held only 8.1 percent of top earner slots.

Only two top U.S. companies have more women in executive positions than men, http://money.cnn.com">CNN Money reported Tuesday: Ingredion, based in Westchester, Ill., and headed by CEO Ilene Gordon; and Frontier Communications, headquartered in Stamford, Conn., led by CEO Maggie Wilderotter.

Women hold 21 chief executive officer spots in Fortune 500 companies, a miserly 4.2 percent of those positions, CNN Money reported in November. The Fortune 500 is Fortune magazine's list of the 500 largest U.S. firms.


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