Women still scarce in highest corporate jobs
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Monday July 24, 2006
A New York-based research group's recent survey shows that women are still struggling to take their places at the highest levels of business, RAW STORY has learned.
An article in today's Wall Street Journal reports on a survey by Catalyst completed every three years showing that for corporate officer jobs in Fortune 500 companies, only 16.4% were held by women. Additionally, women accounted for only 6.4% of the top five earners among corporate officers. The growth rates for both of these categories of analysis were lower than in earlier Catalyst surveys. Women of color made even less progress.
The survey also suggested that existing problems for women's ability to breach the glass ceiling have been aggravated by a shrinkage in the total number of senior corporate positions by 21%.
An excerpt of the subscription-only story is included below.
Irene Rosenfeld last month became CEO of Kraft Foods, the nation's top food company, and in April Patricia Woertz became chief executive officer of Archer-Daniels-Midland, the giant grain processor. They are examples of how women in business are asserting power in all sorts of ways. Women in the U.S. are launching small businesses at more than twice the rate of men each year. In preparing for the work force, female students outnumber and outperform male students in colleges and in many professional schools.
Still, the numerous individual achievements belie the fact that at big, established companies, women in recent years have made little progress breaking into senior ranks.
The vast majority of women, who hold more than half of all management and professional jobs and have been in the pipeline for decades now, still are concentrated in entry-level and middle ranks. Last year, they held 16.4% of Fortune 500 corporate officer jobs -- the titles of at least vice president and positions that require board approval -- an increase of just 0.7% from 2002, according to the latest study of executive women by Catalyst, the New York research group. The survey also found women comprised just 6.4% of the top five earners among corporate officers, a 1.2% rise in the same period. These are lower growth rates than Catalyst reported in prior surveys, done every three years over the past decade.