29 Corporate Boards Have No Female Members
It may be 2011, but the glass ceiling still hasn't shattered. There are still 29 publicly traded companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 that don't have any women on their boards or among their highest-paid executives, reports Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
One-third of the boys club companies are in the oil and gas sector, which has the lowest percentage of female directors of any industry, but many other industries are represented on the list.
Instead of working toward gender parity, corporate American seems to be moving away from it. The number of women on corporate boards on the S&P 500 dropped from 16.6 percent to 16 percent last year. Many companies didn't make the BusinessWeek list because they have a lone female board member, who sources told the magazine are often included only as a "token gesture of gender diversity."
It's difficult to believe that even today, there are only three companies in the S&P 500 who can boast a more than 40 percent female board: Macy's, Avon, and Estée Lauder. And while it makes sense that women would serve on the boards of cosmetics and retail companies, whose consumers are traditionally female, it doesn't make much sense that Discovery Communications which owns the Oprah Winfrey Network, has no women on its board, or that Cintas, the largest uniform manufacturer in the U.S., doesn't either.
Aida Alvarez, who sits on the boards of Walmart and Union Bank, told the magazine that it's just good business to have women on the board because there isn't a large, public company in America that doesn't have women as consumers and investors.