You might have read this morning that Avon's CEO Andrea Jung is being forced out. Okay, so MAYBE earnings are down more than 42% on the year. And suuuuure, the SEC is investigating the door-to-door crew for “bribing foreign officials and improperly disclosing information to Wall Street analysts.” But forget the investment story here. This is a major blow to the already small club of female Executive Officers; Jung is/was the longest tenured female CEO of any Fortune 500 company. The news of Jung’s imminent departure comes on the heels of Catalyst – a self-described "nonprofit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business" – releasing their annual reports on how women are represented in Fortune 500 companies’ Executive Officer and Board of Directors positions. E&Y was the “Mentor Circle” contributor (we don’t know what that means either) and Deloitte was a contributing research partner as well. Below are a break down of the numbers, showing year-over-year stagnation in terms of male/female representation at the highest corporate levels.
Statistics on Executive Officers (source, PDF):
- Women held 14.1 percent of Executive Officer positions at Fortune500 companies (14.4% in ’10)
- Women held 7.5 percent of Executive Officer top earner positions (7.6% in ’10)
Statistics on Board of Directors (source, PDF):
- Women held 16.1 percent of board seats at Fortune500 companies (up from 15.7% in ’10)
- Less than one-fifth of companies (16.3%) had 25 percent or more women directors
- About one-tenth (11.3%) of Fortune 500 boards had no women serving on their boards.
- Women of color held 3.0 percent of all board seats
How does this compare to the Big 4? This is something that we'll be following up on.