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Catalyst finds scant progress for Fortune 500 women leaders

Wednesday, December 12, 2012  
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Despite high-profile news about gender gaps, equal pay and women on boards, the needle barely budged for women aspiring to top business leadership in corporate America in 2012, Catalyst reports.

Women’s share of board director and executive officer positions increased by only half a percentage point or less during the past year, according to "2012 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors” and "2012 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Executive Officers and Top Earners.”

Women held 16.6 percent of board seats in 2012, compared to 16.1 percent the year before, representing the seventh consecutive year of no significant growth. In both 2011 and 2012, less than one-fifth of companies had 25 percent or more women directors, while one-tenth had no women serving on their boards.

In 2012, women of color held just 3.3 percent of all Fortune 500 board seats, a tiny uptick from 3 percent the year before. More than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies had no women of color board directors for the fifth consecutive year.

Women held 14.3 percent of executive officer positions, compared to 14.1 percent in 2011, representing a flat line for the third straight year. They held only 8.1 percent of top earner slots at Fortune 500 companies, up slightly from 7.5 percent in 2011.

2012 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors
2012 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners

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