What Apple, ExxonMobil and Citigroup all have in common: No top women executives

December 11, 2012
December 11, 2012

This item has been corrected.

Companies by percentage of women in leadership roles

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Too few women at the top(Catalyst)

A study out today by Catalyst, a non-profit research group, shows slow advancement for women into the top spots in corporate America. Based on 2011 annual filings and proxy statements, women held just 14.3% of senior leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies, while making up just 8.1% of the top earners. These numbers rose little from the previous year (see above). The study looked at top leadership roles including president jobs and heads of divisions.

Last year and this year, one-fifth of companies had 25% or more women in senior jobs, though more than a quarter of Fortune 500 companies had no women at all in top jobs including Apple with none in any of its eight senior executive roles, zero at Citigroup’s dozen top jobs, and not a one in the 20 leadership positions at ExxonMobil.

These figures don’t include board seats. Women held 16.6% of Fortune 500 boards seats, up only a tiny bit from 16.1% in 2011. The figures also don’t include every leadership position, but only those executives listed in an SEC filing. Some companies disclose as few senior folks as possible to reduce the number of people forced to disclose other things such as compensation, ownership interests and other business relationships. Be that as it may, the people listed still represent the highest level of staff in an organization, and the fact that there are no women is telling.

Other brand name companies with 10 or more top roles of which none are filled by women, according to last year’s filings, include AIG, Broadcom, Costco, Micron Technology, and Verizon. Yahoo was also on the list, until Marissa Mayer became chief executive in July. (See the full list of companies with no senior women here.)

Correction: The original story incorrectly stated that General Mills had no women in top executive positions, as listed in its most recent annual filing. Kimberly A. Nelson is Senior Vice President of External Relations, and President of the General Mills Foundation. 

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