“These findings answer the question of whether it matters if a woman is in charge,” states CWDI Chair Irene Natividad. “Clearly women CEOs are far more likely to bring in other women to corporate leadership roles. It is unfortunate, however, that there are so few of them in both the US and Canada,” she adds.
- Companies with women CEOs in both the US and Canada tend to have a much higher average percentage of women board directors than other companies in the Financial Post 500. The percentage of women serving on the Board of Directors of the 22 Canadian companies with women CEOs is 29%, more than double the average of all companies in the Financial Post 500, which is 13%.
- The percentage of women serving on the Board of Directors of the 14 U.S. companies with women CEOs in Fortune 500 is 27.7%. This is again nearly double the average of all companies in the Fortune 500, which is 14.8%
- Companies with women CEOs in both the U.S. and Canada on average also have more women as executive officers: 32.4% of executive officers of companies with women CEOs in the Financial Post 500 are women, compared to 15.1% of executive officers of all companies in the Financial Post 500. 21.6% of executive officers of companies with women CEOs in the Fortune 500 are women, compared to 15.4% of executive officers of all companies in the Fortune 500
- Canadian companies outpace U.S. companies in placing women in leadership positions in the following:
22 women lead Canadian companies in the 2008 Financial Post 500 compared to 14 women CEOs heading companies in the U.S. Fortune 500. Five Canadian companies with women CEOs — Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., Canada Post, Manitoba Public Insurance Company, and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board — have at least 50% of women on their board of directors, while no U.S. company with a woman CEO in the Fortune 500 reaches 50%. Two Canadian companies – Vancouver City Savings Credit Union and Indigo Books and Music — with women CEOs have women as half of their executive officers, while no U.S. company with a woman CEO has a majority of women as executive officers. Crown corporations, on average, do the best job of placing women on boards of directors and in executive officer positions. Of the seven crown corporations with women CEOs, the average percentage of women board directors is 41.3%, compared to 22.4% of the other 15 Canadian companies with women CEOs. However, U.S. women CEOs tend to run bigger companies. Revenues of the U.S. companies with women CEOs range from $61 billion to $4.9 billion. Revenues of the Canadian companies with women CEOs range from $9.6 billion to $482 million.
- The top Canadian company led by a woman CEO with the highest percentage of women directors and senior officers is Vancouver City Savings Credit Union with seven women directors on a board of 11 members, a percentage of 63.6%. Vancouver City Savings Credit Union also is one of two Canadian companies with half of its Executive Officers comprised of women. The other company is Indigo Books and Music.In the U.S., the top company for women with a woman CEO is Kraft Foods with five women directors out of 12 for a percentage of 41.7%. Kraft also leads US companies with 44.4% of its Executive Officers being women.
CWDI identified the women currently leading companies in the 2008 Financial Post 500 and 2008 Fortune 500 and analyzed the composition of each of these companies’ Boards of Directors and Executive Officers as listed in Annual Reports, 10-k filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, documents submitted to the Ontario Securities Commission, federal filings necessitated by the Canada Business Corporations Act and other public records, along with listings from company websites and company contacts.
The data for each company’s Boards of Directors and Executive Officers is current as of October 31, 2008, except where noted. Data for Financial Post 500 percentages and Fortune 500 percentages are courtesy of the 2007 Catalyst Census of Women Board Directors of the FP500 (data as of June 2007). Based on 2006 Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners of the FP500 (data as of June 2006).To order a copy of the 2008 CWDI Report: Impact Of Women CEOs On Women’s Access To Corporate Bard Seats & The C-Suite, please click here