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
     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
        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
        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
        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
     (6) Source: Presidents Council -- State Universities of Michigan and
         individual universities'

SOURCE Inforum

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.


PR Newswire Membership

Fill out a PR Newswire membership form or contact us at (888) 776-0942.

Learn about PR Newswire services

Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.