Women 11% of Corporate Boards: Slow Progress

Catalyst, which works to advance women in business, recently released its annual Census of Women Board Directors of the Fortune 1000. For the first time, this census covered the entire Fortune 1000, and revealed a significant gap between the two tiers of these powerful companies in the number of women represented on their Boards of Directors. For example, a surprising 84% of Fortune 500 companies have at least one woman director, compared with only 62% of Fortune 501-1000 companies. More women are directors for companies in the Midwest and Northeast, as well as in the publishing and printing industry.

The survey’s results show slow progress for women across the board. The report shows that “the percentage of board seats held by women in the Fortune 500 has gone up by only one-tenth of one percent, from 11.1 percent in 1998 to 11.2 percent in 1999.” Hopeful, however, is Catalyst’s finding that the number of companies with multiple women board members has been consistently on the rise.


Catalyst. Press Release. 1999; Catalyst. Fact Sheet. 1999

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