2008 Minnesota Census - Women Corporate Directors and Executive Officers

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Executive Summary

Corporate governance research suggests that well-functioning boards consist of directors who bring a variety of backgrounds and talents to the table.

Research also suggests that the presence of three or more women in corporate leadership settings, both boardroom and executive office, provides an important indicator of corporate diversity and correlates with improved financial performance.

This first-ever study of Minnesota women directors places the state's top 100 publicly held companies at the high end of the percentage of available board seats in the United States.

However, a closer look at the numbers - in light of the above-mentioned research and U.S. census data - clearly indicates room for improvement.

Given the availability of board-ready women and the organizations dedicated to advancing corporate governance in Minnesota, the sponsors of this report are optimistic that more Minnesota companies will make the effort to add more women to their boards and executive offices.

Women Corporate Directors

  • 28 of the top 100 Minnesota public companies have no women directors, and 43 of these companies have only one woman on their boards.
  • Women hold 14% of the available board seats in Minnesota's 100 largest publicly held companies, ranging from $35 million to $75 billion in revenue.
  • A minority, 29%, of these companies have two or more women corporate directors; 43% of these companies have one; and 28% have none.
  • Minnesota companies reporting larger revenues tend to have a greater number and percentage of women board members than smaller companies.
  • Of the 16 Minnesota Fortune 500 companies, 75% have two or more women corporate directors; the remaining 25% have one.
    - Of the 13 Minnesota Fortune 501-1000 companies, 39% have two or more women corporate directors; 54% have one; and 8% have none.
    - Of the remaining 71 companies, 17% have two or more women corporate directors; 45% have one; and 38% have none.

Women Executive Officers

  • Women hold 16% of the available positions as executive officers in Minnesota's 100 largest publicly held companies, ranging from $35 million to $75 billion in revenue.
  • A minority, 37%, of these companies have two or more women executive officers; 38% have just one women executive officer; and 25% have none.
  • Minnesota companies reporting larger revenues tend to have a greater number and percentage of women executive officers than smaller companies.
  • All 16 of Minnesota's Fortune 500 companies have women executive officers; 25% of the companies have 25% or more women executive officers; the remaining 75% of the companies have less than 25% women executive officers.
  • Eleven of the 13 Minnesota Fortune 501-1000 companies have one or more women executive officers; 15% of the companies have 25% or more women executive officers; 69% of the companies have less than 25%.
  • Forty-eight of the 71 remaining companies have one or more women executive officers; 27% of the companies have 25% or more women executive officers; 41% of the companies have less than 25%.

Corporate Directors and Executive Officers

  • 63% of Minnesota's 100 largest publicly held companies have both one or more women directors and one or more women executive officers.
  • 21% of Minnesota's 100 largest publicly held companies have one or more women directors or one or more women executive officers but not both.
  • 16% of Minnesota's 100 largest publicly held companies have no women directors or executive officers.
  • Minnesota companies reporting larger revenues are more likely to have women represented in both the boardroom and the executive suite than smaller companies.
    - All 16 Minnesota Fortune 500 companies have both one or more women directors and one or more women executive officers.
    - Of the 13 Minnesota Fortune 501-1000 companies, 77% have both one or more women directors and one or more women executive officers; the remaining 23% have either one or more women corporate directors or one or more women executive officers.
    - Of the remaining 71 companies, 52% have both one or more women directors and one or more women executive officers; 25% have either one or more women corporate directors or one or more women executive officers; and 23% have neither.




Research conducted by the St. Catherine University
Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL)
graduate program.