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Advancing Women in Business Leadership
Presented by the UC Davis Graduate School of Management

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In today’s global marketplace, where diverse backgrounds, skills and experience are critical for strategic and operational decisions, having more women involved at the highest levels of business management and corporate governance is associated with more profitable and well-managed corporations. The Graduate School of Management is dedicated to helping make that a reality.

Diversity in Leading CALIFORNIA Companies

Advancing Women in Business Leadership

For more than a decade now, the Graduate School of Management has been conducting its annual census of women in leadership among publicly held companies. The study is important because it shines a continuous light on the lack of substantial representation of women in top leadership of the corporate sector of California.

UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders

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For the 11th 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.

Our study is the only one of its kind to focus on gender diversity in the boardrooms and executive suites of corporate California. Our goal is to drive awareness among corporations, business leaders and policy makers to take meaningful action toward greater female representation.

View key findings and download our 2015-2016 study

Public Policy Impact

In September 2013 the California legislature passed a resolution, the first of its kind in the nation, calling for public companies to add more women to their boards of directors. The UC Davis study and the work of many groups were cited in the resolution and by the resolution
sponsor for raising the visibility of this important corporate
governance issue.

Although non-binding, Senate Concurrent Resolution 62 (SCR-62) sets goals for the number of women based on the size of the company’s board (three or more women for boards of nine or more directors, two or more women for boards of five to eight directors, and one woman for smaller boards).

In our study of the largest 400 public companies, the percentage of firms that meet the goals of the resolution increased from 15.8% in 2014 to 17.5% (70 companies) in 2015. The 2015 data reflect company boards at the end of each firm’s fiscal year, most often December 31, 2014, when the resolution had been in effect for one full year. Of these 70 firms meeting the goals, more than one-third (24, or 34%) are in the computer hardware and software industries.

Overall, the resolution has not had a discernable impact on the proportion of women on the boards of the largest public California companies since it took effect. Unless these trends change dramatically, California companies are unlikely to meet the resolution’s goals by December 2016

“We know that a more representative, diverse group of leaders can change decision making and outcomes in companies. California has been a leader in many areas, and our findings point out the opportunity for California to take the lead in increasing women’s presence in corporate leadership.”

— Dean Ann Huff Stevens, UC Davis Graduate School of Management


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