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E&Y and Deloitte Are Here to Remind You That Women Are Grossly Underrepresented in the Old Boys’ Club

You might have read this morning that Avon's CEO Andrea Jung is being forced out. Okay, so MAYBE earnings are down more than 42% on the year. And suuuuure, the SEC is investigating the door-to-door crew for “bribing foreign officials and improperly disclosing information to Wall Street analysts.” But forget the investment story here. This is a major blow to the already small club of female Executive Officers; Jung is/was the longest tenured female CEO of any Fortune 500 company. The news of Jung’s imminent departure comes on the heels of Catalyst – a self-described "nonprofit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business" – releasing their annual reports on how women are represented in Fortune 500 companies’ Executive Officer and Board of Directors positions.  E&Y was the “Mentor Circle” contributor (we don’t know what that means either) and Deloitte was a contributing research partner as well. Below are a break down of the numbers, showing year-over-year stagnation in terms of male/female representation at the highest corporate levels.

Statistics on Executive Officers (source, PDF):

  • Women held 14.1 percent of Executive Officer positions at Fortune500 companies (14.4% in ’10)
  • Women held 7.5 percent of Executive Officer top earner positions (7.6% in ’10)

Statistics on Board of Directors (source, PDF):

  • Women held 16.1 percent of board seats at Fortune500 companies (up from 15.7% in ’10)
  • Less than one-fifth of companies (16.3%) had 25 percent or more women directors
  • About one-tenth (11.3%) of Fortune 500 boards had no women serving on their boards.
  • Women of color held 3.0 percent of all board seats


How does this compare to the Big 4?  This is something that we'll be following up on.