Women Still an Untapped Corporate Resource
New study by Inforum Center for Leadership and University of Michigan's
Ross School of Business finds few women executive officers, no progress in
the board room, and women of color nearly absent at the top
DETROIT, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Women are still a widely untapped resource at the executive level, as well as in board rooms, compared to their male counterparts at Michigan's largest public corporations, according to the 2007 Michigan Women's Leadership Index, released today. More revealing is the lack of women of color at the top of these companies. Published for the first time in 2003, the Michigan Women's Leadership Index is a one-of-a-kind bi-annual look at the presence of women leaders at the highest levels of the 100 largest publicly held corporations headquartered in the state ("Michigan Index 100"). The study, by the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, was commissioned by the Inforum Center for Leadership, the non-profit education and research arm of Inforum (formerly the Women's Economic Club). "Change is occurring slowly, but the lack of women at the executive level and in the board room continues to be discouraging," said Terry Barclay, president and CEO of Inforum and Inforum Center for Leadership (ICL). "There is still no female CEO of an Index 100 company and 41% of Michigan's top 100 public companies still do not have any women directors. This is in spite of the fact that women occupy 50.1% of the managerial and professional positions in Michigan's civilian labor force,(1) influence 91% of household purchasing decisions and have control over $14 trillion in wealth.(2) However, the corporate pipeline that is increasingly female -- starting with college enrollments and graduates and culminating in the senior officer ranks -- gives hope that more women may eventually progress to upper level positions." New to the 2007 Index Significant changes and additions were made to this year's study to present a more comprehensive and valuable analysis of the presence of women in Michigan's business landscape. The first of which is a report and analysis on the presence of women directors and top earners by their absolute numbers and percentages, in addition to assigning Index scores. Second, while previous studies focused only on those women among the top five earners (highest paid executives), the 2007 Index includes data on all executive officers that companies listed in their 10K annual reports. And finally, a special section is devoted to an analysis on women of color, women in board committee leadership roles, and Michigan's Fortune 500 and 1000 companies. Most Valuable Players Gain Some Ground Eight companies earned "MVP" status in this year's study, an increase from six in 2005, but still short of the 10 MVPs in 2003. -- Five new companies made the MVP list: Arvin Meritor, Comerica, American Physicians Capital, Asset Acceptance Capital and Wolverine World Wide. -- Three of the eight MVPs, Compuware, FNBH Bancorp and X-Rite, are repeat MVPs from both 2005 and 2005. -- For the third time, FNBH Bancorp of Howell is the overall highest scoring company with three women on its board of directors and four women officers. The report uses the language of sports to characterize companies according to their Index scores. Those with the highest scores are identified as "Most Valuable Players (MVPs);" those with middling scores are "In the Game;" and companies with no women officers or board directors are "On the Sidelines." The study also differentiates the 100 companies by size, with 20 falling into Group I (Fortune 500), 61 in Group II (market capitalization greater than $100 million but not a Fortune 500) and 19 in Group III (market capitalization less than $100 million). Women at the Executive Level According to the 2007 Michigan Women's Leadership Index report, 55% of the Index companies have at least one woman executive officer. However, women hold only 88 (or 11.6% percent) of the 757 senior positions in Michigan's 100 largest companies. "There seems to be more hope in increasing the number of women executives than board members, as it is generally faster to get qualified women into the executive ranks and get them noticed," said Kathy Oswald, ICL board chair. No Progress in the Board Room The percentage of women directors of the 100 Index companies has remained virtually unchanged for four years. Currently, women occupy 9.8% of the board seats, compared to 9.9% in 2005 and 9.6% in 2003. Forty-one-percent still do not have any women directors, the same as 2003. Of those women on boards, seven of them hold various committee chair positions and only one serves as chairperson of the board. When it comes to the presence of women directors and executive officers, 34 companies (34%) have at least one of each, while 20% have neither. Women of Color Women of color are nearly absent at the top of Michigan's 100 largest public companies -- only four (.5%) hold executive positions and only nine (1%) occupy a director's seat. There are no women of color on any Michigan Fortune 500 company board or on the board of a smaller Group II company. Nationally, women of color occupied 3.1% of the board seats in the Fortune 500 companies in 2006.(3) Women as Top Five Earners This year, more of Michigan's Index 100 companies have women among their top five earners. Thirty-one percent have one or more women among their highest paid executives, an increase from 21% in 2005 and 24% in 2003. However, the percentage of all top five earners is still in the single digits (7.1%), which is an increase from 2005 (5.7%), but the same as 2003. How Michigan's Fortune 500 Stacks Up Nationally Nationally, Michigan's Fortune 500 companies are comparable to their peers in terms of the percentage of board seats held by women -- 14.3% in Michigan vs. 14.6% national. However, Michigan lags in the percentage of executive positions held by women (12.2% Michigan, 15.6% national) and in the percentage of women as top five earners (4% Michigan, 6.7% national). Business Sectors: Real Estate & Construction and Financial Services Lead, Automotive Still Lags In addition to individually scoring and ranking each company, the Women's Leadership Index also evaluates the presence of women executives and board members by sector. Of the eight sectors identified,(4) only two -- Real Estate & Construction (6 companies) and Financial Services & Insurance (31 companies) -- have the highest average combined presence of women in the boardroom and the top-earning executives. The Automotive sector (16 companies) again received the lowest overall score. The Pipeline: Women in Higher Education Women's enrollment and presence have also increased on college campuses across the nation. But there is a big gap between their impressive graduation statistics and their presence at the top corporate levels. In the 2006-2007 academic years, women earned more than half of the bachelor's and master's degrees (58% bachelor's, 61% master's).(5) In Michigan's 12 public universities, on average, women currently make up 56% of total full-time undergraduate enrollment.(6) "With a candidate pool that is increasingly female, well-educated and forward-looking, it makes -- good business sense to recognize and utilize the intellectual capacity of women in the workforce," said Barclay. "Hopefully, this pipeline of talent for Michigan companies will not be lost." What Does this Mean? Local Panels to Discuss Findings Two separate events occurring this week will host panels to discuss the findings and offer additional insight into the 2007 Michigan Women's Leadership Index: -- Wednesday, Oct. 10: Developing Women Leaders -- the Executive Perspective Location: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids Time: 4:45 p.m. Registration & Networking / 5:30 p.m. Dinner & Panel Discussion Featured speakers: Linda Forte, senior vice president, Comerica; Stan Smith, national director, Next Generation, Deloitte; Kathleen Sutcliffe, Ph.D., associate dean, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; and Terry Barclay, CEO, Inforum. Tickets: Inforum member, $40; Non-member; $55, non-members. (Add $10 at the door.) Register: www.inforummichigan.org or call 616.913.0206. -- Friday, Oct. 12: Developing Women Leaders -- the CEO Perspective Location: Hotel St. Regis, Detroit Time: 11:30 a.m. Registration & Networking / 12 p.m. Lunch & Panel Discussion Featured speakers: Tony Earley, chairman and CEO, DTE; Daniel Loepp, president and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; Charles "Chip" McClure, chairman of the board, CEO and president, ArvinMeritor, Inc.; Kathy Oswald, president, Right Management; Stan Smith, national director, Next Generation, Deloitte; Susan Ashford, Ph.D., associate dean, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; and, Terry Barclay, CEO, Inforum. Tickets: Inforum member, $40; Non-member, $50. (Add $10 at the door.) Register: www.inforummichigan.org or call 877.633.3500. Complete copies of the 2007 Women's Leadership Index report are available at www.inforummichigan.org. About Inforum Inforum is one of the largest and most prestigious business forums for women in the nation, with more than 2,200 members from a broad cross-section of Michigan's business community. The mission of the organization is to strengthen the business environment by creating opportunities for women to lead and succeed. Inforum provides opportunities for businesswomen to forge alliances discuss vital civic and business issues and make connections that help accelerate careers. Inforum offers a highly esteemed and successful leadership training program through its non-profit education and research arm, Inforum Center for Leadership. Founded as the Women's Economic Club in 1962 in Detroit, Inforum has affiliates in Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan. For more information, visit www.inforummichigan.org or call 877.633.3500. About Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan Outstanding faculty and students at the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business come together in an innovative learning community that is consistently ranked among the world leaders in both research and teaching. The Ross School offers MBA, EMBA, MAcc, and BBA degree programs, as well as executive education programs. Ross programs are highly regarded around the world for their academic rigor and the innovative ways they prepare graduates to contribute to the success of organizations. The Ross School is located on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. For more information, visit www.bus.umich.edu. (1) U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 American Community Survey (2) 101 Facts on the Status of Working Women. Business and Professional Women's Foundation, July 2006 (3) 2006 Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers, Top Earners, and Directors of the Fortune 500 (4) Automotive, Consumer Business, Energy & Utilities, Financial Services & Insurance, Manufacturing (non-automotive), Real Estate & Construction, Service, Technology & Life Sciences) (5) U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, Women's History Month: March 2007. From the National Center for Education Statistics, Projections of Education Statistics to 2015, at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006084 (6) Source: Presidents Council -- State Universities of Michigan and individual universities'
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