Underrepresentation of Female Leaders in the Boardroom

August 4, 20168:08 am1625 views

Despite a lot of progress, with inclusion of more women in the leadership levels, the boardroom representation continues to remain uneven. Each year, the Fortune 500 ranks top public corporations in the US based on their gross revenue. However, what goes little noticed is the lack of women representation in the boardrooms in the top 10 companies featured on the Fortune 500 list?

How many women hold executive positions? Asian companies tend to have fewer women on corporate boards than their European counterparts, but the link between diversity and profit is not clear, and mandating quotas – as is done in Europe – would not likely be effective in Asia, according to a new study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The study suggests, “Addressing government policies that put women at a disadvantage in education, work and other aspects of society would be more effective at diversifying Asian boardrooms than mandating quotas.”

See: Pros and Cons of Female Leaders at Work

Addressing one of the most important HR concerns when it comes to incorporating diversity and inclusion initiatives within a company, Laura Brothers came up with an interesting Infographic below to take you through the findings on why is there lack of female representation in boardrooms of the top 10 companies in the Fortune 500 list:


Walmart – only 28% women are in executive positions and the remaining 72% are men. Of which there are only 4 female (27%) board members and 11 males (73%) board representation.

ExxonMobil – 2 female members in the executive positions and 27 males (93%) representation. At the board level, there are 2 female members (15%) and 11 male (85%) members.

Chevron – 3 Women (19%) in executive positions and 13 male (81%). At the boardroom level, 2 female members (18%) and 9 males, which represent 82% leadership at the helm.

Berkshire Hathaway – 5 females in executive positions accounting for 29% and 12 males (71%), at the boardroom level 25% women representation with 3 females and 9 males (75%).

Apple – One of the top IT giants has only 9% female representation in executive positions, whereas 91% are predominantly male. At the board level, there is only 25% female representation and 75% men.

General Motors – 22% of women are in executive positions and 87% male. Likewise female representation on board of the company is 25% and males dominate at 75% respectively.

At GE and Ford, the number of females in executive positions is low to stand at 19% and 11% respectively. Also the board representation of female leadership is at 27% and 14% for the latter.

CVS Health reports 23% representation of women in executive roles and 27% in leadership positions, whereas state 87% men in executive job roles and 73% representation in boardrooms.

Also read: Roadblocks to Women Leadership in Asia: “This is not a ‘women’s issue’, but a business issue and men are critical to making progress,” Nick Marsh Opines

Image credit: twitter.com

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