Study: Few women advancing to top positions in Minn. companiesby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A St. Catherine University study has found women are making little progress in winning seats on Minnesota corporate boards or moving into the executive suite.
The study found women hold only about 14 percent of the available seats on the boards of Minnesota's 100 biggest public companies. That's in line with the findings of the researchers' studies done in 2008 and 2009.
Professor Rebecca Hawthorne said CEOs have to do more to see that women advance up the corporate ladder.
"The primary mover in creating change is the CEO," she said. "When the CEO clearly defines a diversity policy, implements it, and monitors it, we begin to see progress."
Hawthorne said women now hold about half the middle management jobs in the business world. Yet she said they're not advancing to the boardroom.
"You see a very different trajectory for female managers from mid-management to the top versus male managers from mid-management to the top," she said.
Hawthorne said companies typically fill board seats with sitting or retired CEOs and those CEOs are overwhelmingly white men. The university study found women hold only about 16 percent of the CEO and other executive level positions at the state's top 100 public companies.