Up the Corporate Ladder

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Women occupy one out of ten board seats in Fortune 1000 companies, according to a new study by research organization Catalyst, and 30 percent of America's largest firms have several female directors on their rosters. Catalyst's previous counts of women board directors included only Fortune 500 companies, but this year the survey was expanded to encompass the entire Fortune 1000. The results highlight significant differences between the two tiers of corporations. For example, roughly 84 percent of Fortune 500 firms have at least one woman board member, compared to 62 percent of companies in the Fortune 501-1000. Thirty companies in the Fortune 1000 report that women hold 25 percent or more of their board seats. Ranked at the top are savings and loan holding company Golden West Financial (56 percent of board members female) and Avon Products (50 percent). More attention is needed in getting minority women on corporate boards, however. Of the 777 companies that provided race and ethnicity data for the Catalyst study, just 1.9 percent of their total board seats are filled by minority women.

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