For the ninth year, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management in partnership with Watermark has published the annual UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders: A Census of Women Directors and Executive Officers.
The study is an annual benchmark for gender diversity in the C-suites and boardrooms of the 400 largest public companies headquartered in California. Our goal is to drive awareness among corporations, business leaders and policy makers to take meaningful action toward greater female representation.
This study is the only one of its kind to focus on gender in the boardrooms and executive suites of corporate California. Our “California 400”—including many global brand powerhouses such as Apple, Chevron, Intel, Visa, Google, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle—taken together tally a total stock market value of $3.42 trillion. Put in perspective, the combined market capitalization of these publicly traded Golden State firms is almost three times the annual GDP of neighboring Mexico.
The study also highlights California’s Top 25 companies with the highest percentage of women leaders, applauding their leadership and advising others to follow their example.
Key Findings of 2013 – 2014 Study
There has been some incremental improvement in the gender diversity of the upper echelons of decision makers at the largest public companies in California.
Key findings of our 2013–2014 study:
Overall, women hold just 10.9% of board seats and highest-paid executive positions—a 1% increase compared to last year.
More than a quarter—107 (26.8%)—of our California 400 have no women among their directors and highest-paid executives. This has improved from 127 companies (32%) last year.
For the first time since 2006, more companies in our study have one woman (33.5%) than have no women (26.8%).
Not a single company has an all-female board and management team. However, for the first time in our study, two companies have a female majority (54.5%) among their directors and highest-paid executives.
Thirteen (3.3%) of the 400 companies have a woman serving as CEO, holding steady from last year.
Our results highlight the need for greater participation of women on corporate boards and in the executive suites, and to help create these opportunities. To improve the standing of women in business leadership positions, the Graduate School of Management has a strong partnership with Watermark, a nonprofit organization that offers several pioneering programs to increase the number of women in executive and board roles, and support them in those roles.
Amanda Kimball is a research specialist collaborating on faculty research projects. She authors the School’s annual “UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders.” Kimball spent time in a PhD program for Economics at UC Davis, where she earned her masters degree in 2003, with concentrations in Microeconomic Theory and Industrial Organization. She has a background in business and economics including having worked for Capital One, the Investment Company Institute, and the Corporate Executive Board.
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