2012-2013 UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders
A Census of Women Directors and Highest-Paid Executives

Breaking News

California is the first state in U.S. to urge public companies to add more women on their corporate boards. In September 2013, the legislature approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 62. The resolution was prompted by our eight years of research on women business leaders in California.

Dean Steven Currall testified about the study and the importance of the resolution at a Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing. He and resolution lead author Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson co-wrote an op-ed in the Oct. 6, 2013, Sacramento Bee, “Viewpoints: What’s Missing in Corporate Boardrooms? More Women.”

Recent Media Coverage

Sacramento Bee, “Legislator Calls for More California Companies to Put Women on Their Boards.” August 27, 2013.

The Davis Enterprise. “Senate: Firms Should Add Women Directors.” August 26, 2013.

Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly  thereof concurring, That the Legislature acknowledges that the body of evidence to date concludes that companies perform better when their boards and executive leadership include women, and that the State of California has a significant stake in both protecting the shareholders of publicly traded companies, as well as setting policies that enable them to perform better.”

California State Concurrent Resolution 62, approved by both Senate (Aug. 26,2013)  and Assembly (September 12, 2013), prompted by our UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders

The California 400: Still Dominated by Men

The UC Davis Graduate School of Management in partnership with Watermark publishes the annual “UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders: A Census of Women Directors and Executive Officers.”

Our eighth annual study details the presence of women at the very top of the 400 largest publicly held corporations headquartered in the state. Our findings paint a disappointing picture of female representation on the boards and in the executive suites of these high-profile companies. Combined, our California 400 represent nearly $3 trillion in shareholder value.

Women still hold fewer than one in 10 of the highest-paid executive positions and board seats at the top public firms in California—and over the past eight years there has been no measurable, significant progress in the representation of women in the top decision-making posts of these California 400.

To compete in today’s global marketplace, successful companies need leaders from a variety of backgrounds, skills and experience to make critical strategic and operations decision, but the lack of women in these California public companies is anything but forward-thinking.”

— Dean Steven C. Currall

Key Findings of 2012-2013 Study

  • There is only one woman for every nine men among directors and highest-paid executives.
  • Only 13 of the 400 largest companies have a woman CEO.
  • No company has an all-female (nor gender-balanced) board and management team.
  • Almost half (44.8 percent) of California’s companies have no women directors;
    34 percent have only one woman director.
  • Among counties with at least 20 companies, San Francisco County has the greatest percentage of women directors (15.5 percent) and Orange County has the least (7.7 percent). Alameda County has the most highest-paid women executives in the study, with 14.4 percent highest-paid women executives working there.
  • By industry — firms in the semiconductor and software industries and those located in the Silicon Valley tended to include fewer women on the board and in highest-paid executive positions. Firms in the consumer goods sector had the highest average percentage of women directors and highest-paid executives.
  • Of the best known companies in California—Apple, Google, Intel, Cisco, Visa, eBay, DIRECTV, Yahoo!, and PG&E—all had no women among their highest-paid executives at fiscal year-end.
  • The 128 Silicon Valley (Santa Clara county) companies, which represent $1.2 trillion, or nearly half the shareholder value of the companies on the list, again showed the worst record for percentage of women executives. Only 6.6 percent of their highest-paid executives are women, and only 8.4 percent of Silicon Valley board members in our study are women.

Media Release

Major Press Coverage / Blog Posts about 2012-2013 Study

UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders: Census Archives

Partnering with Watermark and InterOrganization Network

The UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s partners on the annual census with Watermark, a non-profit community of executive women. Watermark is a member of ION, the InterOrganization Network. Formed in 2004, ION advocates for the advancement of women to positions of power in the business world, especially to boards of directors and executive suites. Today, ION has 16 regional members nationwide, representing more than 10,000 women in business across a wide range of industries.

  • Watermark and UC Davis will join the national conversation on gender diversity in U.S. corporate boardrooms by holding an event in San Francisco on December 12, 2012, among others nationwide on the same day co-hosted by 2020 Women on Boards’ chapters, as well as male and female champions nationwide.
    • REGISTER ONLINE NOW FOR DEC. 12 EVENT:  Promoting Gender Diversity and the Bottom Line. Study author Amanda Kimball will present the census findings followed by a panel discussion on on how to raise the level of dialogue—how to become agents of change.
  • ION and Catalyst will announce national results on December 11, 2012. Please check back here or the ION web site for the ION annual report and national statistics from Catalyst.

Resources and Related Links

  • Watermark – In an effort to turn these numbers around, and thereby help companies improve their profit margins, Watermark created the Watermark Institute Board Access™ program. The program is designed to assist women in advancing their presence in business management, C-level offices and on boards. Candidates complete the program in three phases: assessment and coaching, board simulation and additional readiness resources, and critical connections, which all provide the candidate with the tools required to secure business leadership positions.
  • Professional BusinessWomen of California – A non-profit organization designed to meet the leadership, skill and networking needs of California women throughout their careers and across industries.
  • State of California Commission on the Status of Women – Established in 1965, the only state agency specifically dedicated to protecting the interests of California women. The commission works to ensure that women have equal rights and opportunity and that enacted legislation does not discriminate against women or otherwise undermine their status or their opportunities.
  • Catalyst – A national research and advisory organization working with businesses and the professions to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women at work. The UC Davis Graduate School of Management is one of only 10 universities/global business schools that are members of Catalyst.
  • 2020 Women on Boards – A national campaign to increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020.
  • Women Matter – “Achieving the promise of women executives” Since 2007, McKinsey’s Women Matter research has explored the role women play in the global workplace, their experiences and impact in senior-executive roles, and the performance benefits that companies gain from gender diversity. In this video, McKinsey partners Joanna Barsh, Sandrine Devillard, Emily Lawson, and Jin Wang recount the progress women have made in reaching the executive suite.