St. Catherine University has a deep commitment to the mission of educating women to lead and influence. Our School of Business develops strong and diverse women leaders who positively transform organizations to shape a better world. The production of the annual Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership is one distinct way in which St. Kate's invests in this commitment and holds us all accountable for supporting women in leadership.
Over the past 15 years, St. Catherine University has established the Census as the leading source on women in corporate leadership. St. Kate’s remains the only institution in Minnesota conducting this important research, which includes women of color.
The 2022 Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership continued to see progress made in women's representation on the boards of directors of the state's largest publicly traded companies. However, unlike past years, where this report celebrated the continuous gains made by women on both boards of directors and in executive officer roles, this report focuses on companies' inability to keep pace with national benchmarks for women occupying executive officer positions.
President Roloff on this Year’s Women in Corporate Leadership Census
Minnesotans take a humble point of pride in quietly leading the rest of the nation. It's been 50 years since TIME magazine put our then-governor Wendell R. Anderson on its cover and described the "good life in Minnesota" in a lengthy article that lauded the perfect confluence of qualities forming this state that seemed to make miracles happen for its people, businesses, and environment. Since then, our goals have expanded, our economic growth has continued, and we stand at a critical point where another Minnesota Miracle is needed: increasing the number of women leading our corporations from the C-suite. As you will read in this report, the progress of women executives in Minnesota's corporate landscape has stalled over the past four years. In fact, a deep dive into the data tracking this remarkable period of change and upheaval reveals that the cost was borne disproportionately by women. Take into account those women in leadership roles at our top corporations, and that gap is even more pronounced. This is not a sustainable model for Minnesota corporations, and it belies the "...capacity for innovation, hard work, intellectual adventure and responsibility" that was celebrated by TIME magazine a half-century ago. Moreover, this is not the best use of an increasingly precarious resource: the diversity of employees who possess the skills and knowledge to do the best work and steer their companies toward success. Each year, I get the privilege to congratulate thousands of leaders who graduate from St. Catherine University and set out on their paths to lead and influence. They are your companies' future leaders, and nearly all are women. If you are fortunate enough to hire these women into your own company, have you built the runway for them to lead and soar? Is your strategy for the future rooted in the same drive and innovation that led to your corporate success - and does that strategy include women? The next Minnesota Miracle is waiting to happen. We can't afford to wait any longer: hire women for your leadership roles. Women in corporate leadership can boost your outcomes for improved innovation, improved corporate culture, and once again, prove our state's business success to the world many times over.
ReBecca Koenig Roloff
President, St. Catherine University