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Still an Uphill Battle
CNBC.com | October 10, 2011 | 11:31 AM EDT

  • The number of women in the boardroom has stagnated, holding around 15 to 16 percent for the past several years.
  • The number of executive officers has not improved appreciably, rising from 13 percent to just 14 percent over the past couple of years.
  • In 2010, women held 14.4 percent of executive officer positionsat Fortune 500 companies and 7.6 percent of top earner positions.
  • The high-profile September 6 firing of Carol Bartz as CEO of Yahoo dropped the number of female chief execs in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to 17, a little more than 3 percent. There were five in 2001, according to the executive search firm Spencer Stuart.

    “The number of women and minority board members and executives has remained essentially flat over the past several years, demonstrating a clear disconnect between diversity initiatives and outcomes,” says Barbara Krumsiek, chief executive of Calvert Investments, in the preface of her firm’s influential 2010 report, Examining Cracks in the Ceiling .

    The research found that while women make up 18 percent of director positions in S&P 100 firms, they represent only 8.4 percent of the highest paid positions “that provide the opportunities to develop the expertise and networks needed for future board-level appointments.”

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