Women Advance – Slowly – in Fortune 500

November 14, 2000 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Despite making up more than 46% of the nation's workforce, women occupy corporate officer positions at just 12.5% of the Fortune 500, according to a new survey.

This represents a slight jump from a year ago, where 11.9% of the Fortune 500 featured female corporate officers. The figure was 8.7% in 1995. 

Women have 25% or more of the corporate officer titles at 10% of the Fortune 500, twice the number in 1995.  Still, at 90 of the firms there are still no women corporate officers, according to the survey which was based on corporate records filed by March 31.

The study by the woman’s advocacy group Catalyst, found that 1,622 women among the 12,945 corporate officers in the nation’s 500 largest companies.

At four companies, more than 40% of corporate titles have gone to women, according to the report:

  • IKON Office Solutions of Malvern, Pa.
  • USA Education of Reston, Va.
  • PacifiCare Health Systems of Santa Ana, Calif.
  • Nordstrom of Seattle.

Two women are chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies, Carleton S. Fiorina at Hewlett-Packard and Andrea Jung at Avon Products Inc. in New York, compared with four last year. 

There was just one Fortune 500 female CEO in 1995, Marion O. Sandler of Golden West Financial.  She’s still the CEO, but the company is no longer in the Fortune 500.  She was one of four female Fortune 500 CEOs last year, along with Jill Barad of Mattel, who no longer has that position.

The survey also found that African-American, Asian, and Hispanic women combined made up just 1.3% of corporate officers in 400 companies that provided ethnic data, unchanged from last year.

There’s additional information at www.catalystwomen.org .

– Nevin Adams   editors@plansponsor.com