Report: Women hold only 14.3 percent of executive positions at major companies

map of women board members and executive officers

Today, Catalyst released their 2012 report detailing the gender gap in the leadership of the Fortune 500 companies. Here are some facts:

  • Women held 14.3 percent of executive officer positions.
  • Women held 8.1 percent of top earner positions.
  • Women held 16.6 percent of board seats.
  • Women of color held just 3.3 percent of board seats.
  • One-quarter of the companies had no women in executive officer positions.
  • One-tenth of the companies had no women on their boards.
  • Two-thirds of companies had no women of color on their boards.

And, as Bryce Covert notes, things have barely gotten any better in recent years: “2012 was the seventh consecutive year in which we haven’t seen any growth in board seats and the third year of stagnation in the C-suite.” At a certain point, “progress” is so slow that it’s more appropriately spelled p-l-a-t-e-a-u.

Check out the report here and here, as well as Catalyst’s new Corporate Board Resource, a real “binder full of women.


St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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