Female-Led Companies Have More Women in Top Roles, Study Shows
The world’s top female-led companies have more women in executive positions than the average business in their peer group, according to a report by the Corporate Women Directors International.
Companies with women chief executive officers have boards that are 22 percent female compared with an average of 9.8 percent among all businesses in a study released this month by the Washington-based nonprofit research group.
U.S. companies including Avon Products Inc. (AVP), Xerox Corp. (XRX), Wellpoint Inc. (WLP), PepsiCo Inc. and Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) -- all with women CEOs -- have more than 30 percent of their board seats held by women, according to the research, which was based on 2010 data.
“In light of the nature of our business and the fact that our primary consumers are women, Kraft Foods has always focused on ensuring that we have talented women in key leadership roles across the organization,” Michael Mitchell, a Kraft spokesman, said in an e-mail. “In 2010, women made up 35 percent of management worldwide.”
Including CEO Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft has four women serving on the executive team and three women on the 11-member board, Mitchell said.
Sojaprotein AD, a food products company in Novi Becej, Serbia, and Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, in Vancouver, Canada, led the study’s list of top 10 companies run by women. Both businesses had female majority boards as of last year.
U.S., Canadian, Australian and British companies showed a faster rate of appointing women to boards, the study showed. In the past five years, businesses in those countries boosted the number of female directors by 7.6 percent compared with 2.1 percent by peer companies worldwide.
The study examined 3,012 companies -- including 112 with women CEOs -- in 39 countries.
Sara Lee Corp. (SLE), listed as one of the top 10 U.S. companies with a female CEO in the 2010 data, currently has a male chief executive officer.
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