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Timeline of Women Ceos in American Companies?

Looking for data charting the number of women CEO's in corporate america from 1940-Today... Has anyone ever seen this?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I can't find a history. I can only find articles giving a snapshot

    Wonder Women

    Profiles of leading female CEOs and business executives

    by John Gettings, David Johnson, Borgna Brunner, and Chris Frantz

    Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay


    Top Female CEOs

    * Catherine Elizabeth "Cathy" Hughes

    * Muriel "Mickey" Siebert

    * Mary Kay Ash

    * Marjorie Scardino

    * Shelly Lazarus

    * Meg Whitman

    * Andrea Jung

    * Cathleen Black

    * Anne Mulcahy

    * Patricia Russo

    * Brenda Barnes

    Related Links

    * Women in the Civilian Labor Force

    * 20 Leading Occupations of Employed Women

    * Mothers Participating in Labor Force

    External Links

    * U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau

    * National Foundation for Womens Business Owners

    * Catalyst

    There once was a time in American history when the thought of women working for complex, multi-national technology companies, giant advertising firms, and massive publishing houses was snickered at behind closed boardroom doors.

    Today, women are running those companies—from some of those very same boardrooms.

    But although women make up almost half of America's labor force, as of 2005, only eight Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs or presidents, and 67 of those 500 companies don't have any women corporate officers.

    Catalyst, the not-for-profit New York-based women's research organization, points out that its data shows a change over the last ten years. In 1995, 8.7% of corporate officers in Fortune 500 companies were women. This percentage rose to 16.4% by 2005. While this is progress, they note that, at this rate, it would take 40 years for the number of female corporate officers to match the number of male officers.

    For the few women who have reached the highest ranks, they'd prefer not to talk about their gender. To them it's no longer an issue. Their accomplishments represent significant milestones—not just for women in business—but for women all over the world making career choices.

    Winning the waiting game for women CEOs

    The Monitor's View

    Carly Fiorina didn't appreciate the media hoopla over a "woman CEO" when she was appointed to lead Hewlett-Packard in 1999. Now it's Indra Nooyi's turn at PepsiCo. When will the media stop highlighting women as chief executive officers? When the mix at the top is no longer a novelty.

    That could take a long, long time. Ms. Nooyi will be the 11th chief executive officer to run a Fortune 500 company. Even including all Fortune 500 corporate officer positions, America will have to wait 40 years to reach male-female parity if progress for women continues at the same rate as the past decade. Make that 70 years for boardroom parity.

    The US shouldn't have to drum its fingers for decades while the top echelons of business catch up with the rest of working America (women make up 46.4 percent of the general workforce, and 50.6 percent of management and professional jobs are held by women).

    Intuitively, it makes sense to bring greater diversity of thought and experience to corporate leadership and greater representation of stakeholder interests, especially in today's global business environment. The post- Enron era also demands a less insular boardroom.

    But lest an argument that appeals merely to intuition (a so-called "woman's trait") appear weak, how about some empirical evidence? A 2004 study by Catalyst, the leading researcher of women in the workplace and the source of the above numbers, shows that Fortune 500 companies with the highest percentages of women corporate officers yielded, on average, a 35.1 percent higher return on equity than those with the lowest percentages. And remember, 80 percent of buying decisions are made by women.

    But how to move beyond persuasion to actual results? In Europe, Norway's government is imposing quotas. The top 500 publicly traded firms have until 2008 to fill 40 percent of their boardroom seats with women. The majority of Norwegians with a business education are female (the US is not far from that ratio), and the government wants them brought into the fold. France is imposing a 20 percent quota, while Spain may opt for 40 percent.

    It's hard to see Congress taking such a heavy-handed role, but US corporations would do well to follow the example of companies making leadership and boardroom diversity a strategic goal, backed by incentives for meeting it. Safeway, the grocery chain, wants its leadership to reflect its customer base, and in 2000 set up a tracking and accountability system to focus on diversity. Since then, the percentage of women at the vice-president level has risen from 12 to 25.

    It's going to take such a systematic approach to make gender (and racial) diversity a reality in senior management. And US board members must look beyond their golfing partners or tight circle of CEO friends to widen their mix. That's beginning to happen now as bus

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