Women Leaders in CA Businesses

Women Leaders in CA Businesses

Hi! Long time, no blog! I must admit, the posting on the blog is slow this summer, so please accept my apologies about that! However, I thought this would be the case — it’s summertime! Half of the regular posters have now graduated, and the other half are super busy with internships. And then there’s me. I’m one of those busy with an internship, but also very busy with the California Women Business Leaders study.

This study measures how women are represented in the top leadership positions in the top 400 largest California public businesses (in terms of being executives, named executives, and/or a director on the board). And sadly, the news is always glum year after year — women are very underrepresented overall.

I could go on and on about this, but really, the point of this post was to talk about students’ involvement with the study. The past few years, students have worked as research assistants on the study, as lead by Professor Don Palmer. I am working as one of those assistants. Our job is to research these firms through their SEC filings. And about 60 firms later, I can safely say that I am very familiar with SEC filings (specifically, the 10k and the DEF14a).

(It took me a long time to understand how to read these files, though. The first few firms must’ve taken me about an hour each! Now, it’s down to about 15 minutes, give or take.)

A nice aspect of the study is that it’s released to the public in each November, and last year (and this upcoming November) there is a press release, and participating students can get involved with that too.

So! If you’re interested in it, keep an eye out come November for the study to be released. And if you are interested in being a research assistant on it (you get paid for your participation, and get your name listed in the study info!), you have several options: 1) contact Prof Palmer about your interest or 2) become a member (or official “friend of”) of Women in Leadership (or WiL) because we will notify members when involvement becomes possible. Also, lots of WiL members are working as assistants, so just ask one of us about it, and we can set you on the right track. Our work would probably begin in the late spring, during spring quarter, and last until mid-summer.

Hope you’re all having a great summer!