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Catalyst 2013 Census of Fortune 500: Still No Progress After Years of No Progress
NEW YORK (December 10, 2013)—While companies based in other countries move ahead with plans to advance women to top leadership, progress in the F500 remains flat, according to the 2013 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors and the 2013 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners.
Among the findings:
Catalyst’s research and insights reveal a strong business and financial case for advancing women to leadership.
“It’s hard to believe that at the end of 2013 we still see more than a few all-male corporate boards and leadership teams.” said Ilene H. Lang, President & CEO, Catalyst. “Diverse business leadership and governance are correlated with stronger business performance, employee engagement, and innovation. Shareholders beware: a company with no women at the top is missing one of the biggest opportunities in the marketplace today.”
For some major US companies, advancing women to leadership is “business as usual”—a critical and achievable goal.
“Attracting the best talent is still the most important factor in business success and is every leader’s number one priority,” said Thomas Falk, Chairman & CEO, Kimberly-Clark Corporation. “Companies that have improved their representation of women are attractive employers to all the talent available. For those that have not improved, you have to wonder how long they can be successful if they are only hiring from half of the talent available. This issue is not about equity or fairness, it’s about winning.”
“Catalyst’s 2013 Census showing the continued shortage of women in America’s C-suites, Boards of Directors and as top earners is a call to action,” said Maggie Wilderotter, Chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications. “I encourage corporate procurement leaders to require vendors to include their record of hiring and promoting women and the number of women board members as part of their bids. Logic, fairness and hope have not done the job, but doing business with companies that champion women can set a standard and have an impact.”
To help companies diversify their boards with board-qualified women, Catalyst connects its corporate members with CEO-sponsored women through its Catalyst Corporate Board Resource (CCBR). “We know this is not a supply problem,” added Ms. Lang. “There are plenty of qualified women ready for board and top executive positions, as some companies have proven. It’s important and it’s not hard. It’s the “new normal” in business leadership.”
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