PHILADELPHIA--(www.forumofexecutivewomen.com), shows that while modest change is underway at the top, companies need to do more to increase gender diversity in their leadership ranks if they want to increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace.)--The 12th annual Women on Boards report, released today by The Forum of Executive Women (
“In the face of today’s talent needs, such as globalization and an aging workforce, companies should consider intensifying their focus on gender and global diversity to position themselves for success”
While recent trends suggest some progress for women, a year-over-year look at the numbers continues to show how difficult it has been to bring about robust change in the upper ranks. The overall numbers have only changed slightly since 2010, with women holding 11 percent of board seats and executive positions. There are indications both regionally and nationally that efforts to increase the influence of women in corporate America are gaining traction, but it is a slow progression.
“While we draw attention to the shortfalls, The Forum also recognizes that the Philadelphia region is already being dramatically shaped by women leaders who are setting the stage for growth in the 21st century,” said Autumn Bayles, President of The Forum of Executive Women and Vice President, Strategic Development, Aramark.
“In the face of today’s talent needs, such as globalization and an aging workforce, companies should consider intensifying their focus on gender and global diversity to position themselves for success,” said Tara Weiner, managing partner, Greater Philadelphia region, Deloitte LLP. “Every talent matters – we cannot ignore that the movement of women into the executive ranks is a matter of urgency and survival.”
Deloitte, sponsor of the report, conducted the research and served as “Trailblazer Sponsor” of Women on Boards 2012. The report shows some encouraging trends for the share of women in key leadership positions over the past six years, even as the number of board seats and executive positions contracted at area companies. From 2006 to 2011, the proportion of board seats held by women increased by nine percent. During that same period, the proportion of female top executives increased by 25 percent, and female top earners increased by 53 percent.
In 2011, women held just 11 percent of both board seats and executive positions (unchanged from 2010) and comprised about 10 percent of the top earners at the 100 companies included in The Forum’s analysis. Of those companies, 36 still have no women board members and 58 companies have no female executives. Only five companies reported having three or more women directors, down from six companies in 2010. Further, 64 companies had no female top earners – a slight improvement over the 66 reported in 2010.
The study was compiled following an analysis of 2011 year-end SEC filings by the top 100 companies by revenue in the region. The full results are available online at www.forumofexecutivewomen.com.
This year’s study also highlights various local and national women’s initiatives that are working to improve the status quo. ION (InterOrganizationalNetwork), an organization dedicated to advancing women in the boardroom and of which The Forum is a founding member — this year has grown to include 16 regional member organizations representing much of the country. Initiatives such as Thirty Percent Coalition and 2020 Women on Boards are setting goals and attracting a broad range of support from business leaders, institutional investors, elected officials, women’s organizations and others. Vision 2020, has set five main goals to achieve by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.
The Women on Boards Report also includes profiles of four outstanding women who share their vision and willingness to embrace change -- Suzanne Garber, Chief Networking Officer, International SOS; Emily Landsburg, Co-Founder and CEO, BlackGold Biofuels; Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Sally Stetson, Principal and Co-Owner, Salveson Stetson Group, Inc.
Women on Boards 2012 was released today at The Forum’s annual Leadership Breakfast, where the keynote speaker was Ellen Kullman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, DuPont.
For support in identifying talented women or for additional information, please contact The Forum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Forum of Executive Women
Founded in 1977 and celebrating its 35th year, The Forum of Executive Women is the region's premier women's organization, comprised of a network of more than 400 of the most influential women leaders in the Greater Philadelphia region. The Forum actively works to promote its mission to leverage the power of executive women in the region to expand the impact and influence of women leaders. For additional information, visit www.forumofexecutivewomen.com.
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