Women hold only about one in eight executive/board positions among Californias top 400 public companies, but an annual University of California, Davis, study cited some incremental progress, noting that the percentage of women in top decision-making posts has increased and the number of companies with no women executives and board directors is dropping.
The ninth annual Study of California Women Business Leaders, released Friday by the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, said women hold 10.9 percent of the highest-paid executive positions and board seats among the top 400, a 1 percent increase over last year. It found that the number of companies that have no women executives and no women board members has dropped to 107, a new low and a little more than one-fourth of the overall total.
The study said the number of top firms with at least one woman leader is the highest ever: All 12 of the public Fortune 100 companies in California have at least one woman director on their board. The report also noted that women chief financial officers are increasing, while the number of women serving as CEOs is holding steady at 13, or 3.3 percent.
The top 34 firms identified in the study with the greatest gender diversity among executives and board members were associated with earning three times more revenue and having 50 percent higher profits than the average company in the study with fewer women leaders.
Having more women involved at the highest levels of Californias large public companies may improve their performance, said Steven Currall, dean of the management school.
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