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
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
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
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
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
-- Wednesday, Oct. 10: Developing Women Leaders -- the Executive
Location: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids
Time: 4:45 p.m. Registration & Networking / 5:30 p.m. Dinner & Panel
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
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
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.
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
(6) Source: Presidents Council -- State Universities of Michigan and