Time for Romney-Style Binders? Corporate Women Lag Behind

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ABC News

Posted on December 28, 2012 at 10:30 AM

(ABC News) -- Mitt Romney may have introduced “binder full of women” into the lexicon, but a group working to promote women in business is proposing its own binder full of women in conjunction with its release on the latest, dismal numbers on women at the top of corporate America.

Despite female executives such as Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, there has been little progress when it comes to women at the highest levels of business.

The study, released this month by Catalyst, a non-profit group dedicated to expanding business opportunities for women, found women hold just 16.6 percent of corporate board positions at Fortune 500 companies, and only 14 percent of jobs in the executive suite. Also, women make up just 8 percent of top-wage earners.

“Our latest study shows that the needle has barely budged for women aspiring to corporate boards or executive positions in corporate America,” said Catalyst Chief Operation Officer Deborah Gillis.

The numbers don’t surprise Janet Hill, but the long-time business executive is disappointed.

“I am sorry to hear those statistics,” Hill told ABC News.

Hill, 64, is one woman who has broken through the glass ceiling. She currently sits on four corporate boards, those for Wendy’s International, Sprint Nextel Corporation, Dean Foods Company and The Carlyle Group. Hill, who started and ran her own Washington D.C. management consultant firm for 30 years, has served on some nine corporate boards in the past 25 years.

She also is unique in another way. She is one of a very small group of African- American women on corporate boards. The Catalyst report found that 83 percent of Fortune 500 companies have no women of color on their boards of directors.

Being the lone female is something Hill has gotten used to, even as she tries to change the culture. Hill is the only woman on the Sprint Nextel and Wendy’s boards, and one of just two women board members at Dean Foods and The Carlyle Group.

For more go to: abcnews.com

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