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Latest Study by Bentley Professors Show Women Making Small Gains on Corporate Boards
November 30, 2004
In the latest study by two Bentley professors, in partnership with The Boston Club and Mercer, it is clear that although the number of women directors of the 100 largest public companies in Massachusetts remains low, there have been improvements over the past year, according to the 2004 Census of Women Directors and Executive Officers of Massachusetts Public Companies.
The Census, presented at The Boston Club's Corporate Breakfast on November 30 at the Westin Hotel Copley Place, indicates that 2004 was a year of progress for women as directors and executive officers. Fifty-five (55) percent of companies in the Census have women on their board, up from 50.0 percent in 2003. Eleven of the companies included in both the 2003 and 2004 Census reports added a woman director this past year; no companies reduced the number of women directors. Fortune 500 companies in Massachusetts now have a better record of appointing women as directors than their counterparts nationwide. The number of companies with executive officers increased from 44 percent to 50 percent this year.
The news is not all positive, however. Women continue to fill just 9.5 percent of the board seats in the 100 largest public companies in Massachusetts, up from 9.0 percent in 2003. Moreover, 45 percent of the companies in the Census continue to operate with all-male boards. The companies with no women directors sell everything from shoes to pianos, from fabric to ice cream, from software to worldwide construction operations. Women of color, included in the 2004 Census for the first time, filled just 1.1 percent of the board seats in these companies. In addition, the share of women executive officers in these 100 companies remained constant at 9.2 percent.
"There is still a need for greater recognition of the talents of senior business and professional women and the significant value they can bring to the boardrooms and executive suites of Massachusetts companies," said Patricia Flynn, Bentley Trustee Professor of Economics and Management.
Co-author of the study, Bentley Management Professor Susan Adams, notes that "The research shows strong links between women on corporate boards, profitability and good corporate governance."
Indeed, women's economic clout is at an all-time high: women now make 83 percent of all purchases of goods and services, accounting for over $5 trillion a year in consumer and business spending.
For the full Census report click here.
Directors and Executive Officers:
Firm Size Makes a Difference:
Industry Also Makes a Difference:
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