Friday, February 24, 2012

The NAFE 50 Report Signals a Stall for Female Executives

JP Morgan Chase towerImage via Wikipedia

My copy of Working Mother magazine arrived this month, with a report on the NAFE 50 – the National Association for Female Executives Top 50 companies. The list, which includes technology giants HP, Cisco, Intel, and IBM, also includes financial services firms (20%) such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.

Companies are selected based on female representation at key levels – and especially roles with profit and loss responsibility. Key programs for advancement of women and company culture are also considered.

It’s important to note that this list is meant to represent the top companies for females pursuing executive roles – and does not necessarily represent the top companies pursuing technical careers.

Earlier this year, I posed the question – was 2011 a good year for female leaders? Because I’m a data junkie, I always like to look at the numbers, so let’s take a look at the data in the NAFE 50 report, to see if it can help us answer that question:

53% of the employees across these companies are women. 33% of senior managers are women.

22% of the corporate executives in these companies are women (compared to 14% of Fortune 500 companies), but 37% of the profit and loss executives are women.

The boards are comprised of 23% female directors (compared to 16.1% at Fortune 500 companies).

10% of the NAFE 50 companies have a female CEO (compared to 3.6% of Fortune 500 companies). That is a drop from 14% in 2011.

When I look at the data presented, I am able to see a clear connection between focus on the advancement of women, and the impact that programs like mentoring, leadership training, and coaching have on the company gender profile. That’s good news.
And yet, I still feel like it’s not enough. While 10% of women as CEO sounds great – more than double the Fortune 500 – keep in mind that the numbers we are looking at here are for the top companies – the ones who do the very best in identifying and promoting women leaders.

If we look bottom to top, 53% of the employees at the NAFE 50 companies are women, 44% of the managers are women, 33% of the senior managers are women, 22% of the executives are women, and 10% of the CEOs are women.

Lest you think I only care about the women, let’s take a look at the men in these same companies. 47% of the employees are men, 56% of the managers are men, 67% of the senior managers are men, 78% of the executives are men, and 90% of the top executives are men.

Now, how do you feel about that? You can find the entire report here.


Carol Kilgore said...

To use a very old metaphor, most of the women are Indians while most of the men are Chiefs. Not so good. Sigh. We have a ways to go yet.

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Hmmm yes that is something I think about a lot actually in terms of how male and female skills and abilities are applied to cultures and workplaces.
Perhaps men are threatened by women's multi-tasking skills etc. and use their physical dominance to redress the balance?
Women have the children so are easily sidelined by those men who use that argument against them unless they are strong enough and supported enough to follow their careers.
Maybe I'm just waffling and saying what has already been said a million times before?

One Womans Eye said...

My thoughts...we've made progress from when I entered the corporate ranks many moons ago....but we still have a ways to go, which to me is pretty clear when we see the amount of legislation being passed or trying to be passed that is against women's best interests and personal freedoms.