Business of Diversity
Annual survey shows that Minnesota leads the nation in women's corporate leadership — but the percentage of women directors and executives remains unchanged.
By Elizabeth Child
Each year for the past five years, St. Catherine University has researched women's representation in the boardrooms and executive suites of Minnesota's largest 100 public corporations. This year, the picture for Minnesota women looks rosy by national standards — yet women's corporate leadership is not growing either in the state or nationally.
The Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership is part of a national body of work compiled by the InterOrganization Network (ION), which includes research from 16 states or regions across the country. Minnesota's Census is conducted by Rebecca Hawthorne, program director of the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL), and Associate Professor of Economics Joann Bangs, who teaches in the MAOL program.
To view the full Minnesota Census, go to mncensus.stkate.edu. Here are highlights of this year's report:
- Within the top 100 Minnesota public corporations, women hold 14.5 percent of board seats — or 115 of 795 seats.
- 31 companies have no female board members, 39 have only one woman board member and 30 have more than one women director.
- Only 14 of the top 100 public companies, or 2 percent, include women of color among their board members.
- Minnesota ranks fifth in the percentage of women directors nationally. It is first among Fortune 500 companies, with 21.9 percent women director
Women Executive Officers
- Minnesota leads the nation in the percentage of women executive officers, as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Within the top 100 public companies, women hold 17.4 percent of executive-officer positions.
- 36 companies have no women executive officers, 33 have only one woman executive officer, and 31 have two or more women executive officers.
Leading the Way
The following companies have three or more women on their board of directors, considered a tipping point for women having a clear voice:
- Allette Inc.
- Christopher & Banks Corp.
- Ecolab Inc.
- General Mills Inc.
- Hormel Foods Corp.
- Piper Jaffray Companies
- Select Comfort Corp.
- Target Corp.
- Xcel Energy Inc.
- U.S. Bancorp