Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership

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.

Cover art of the 2020 MN Census of Women Corporate Leadership with the headline "Color Blocked"

Over the past 13 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.

This year’s report explores how Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) women are being left behind in corporate leadership. Over the history of the Census, this is an area that has remained stagnant. To aid in moving the needle and holding us all accountable, we are committing to expanding the Census to incorporate BIPOC women in leadership as part of our research at a deeper level to better understand the barriers and opportunities so that we can support driving change in corporations.

President Roloff on this Year’s Women in Corporate Leadership Census

With a new year comes new hope.

As we face forward from a challenge-laden year, this year’s Women in Corporate Leadership Census report delivers a message to inspire — which is what we need to upshift our momentum.

There is hope in findings like how, despite a global pandemic and significant loss in total available board seats across public companies, the percentage of women corporate directors increased to the highest percentage recorded in 13 years.

Nationally, we have broken a barrier held for far too long, and installed our first woman and woman of color as vice president.

Additionally, this year’s congress has the highest percentage of women representatives ever. [1] We are also seeing more women taking the helm. Fortune magazine reported a record high number of women CEOs on the 2020 Fortune 500 list, including Walgreens tapping Starbucks COO Roz Brewer, a woman of color, as its new CEO.

The tides are shifting, and we must take action to create a tidal wave of change that makes a permanent transition to women equitably holding leadership positions. Not tomorrow, or next year. Now.

How will you take action? Are you sponsoring and encouraging women? Is your company actively building a pipeline for women to move into leadership positions? Does your organizational culture promote inclusive approaches for women and BIPOC employees?

At St. Catherine University, we have taken our commitment further, through our Academic Master Plan, to integrate Career Development programming and leadership training throughout the student experience, no matter when in their higher education journey they come to us. It’s the next step of our mission to educate women to lead and influence. It is how we build a pipeline of intelligent, skilled, and prepared professionals to take us all to the next level of excellence.

Our collective work, as leaders, is to widen the path, strengthen the bridges we have crossed ourselves so that the future not only follows, but it improves. This report shows how far we have come; we know how far we have to go.

ReBecca Koenig Roloff
President, St. Catherine University

[1] Pew Research Center (January 15, 2021). A record number of women are serving in the 117th Congress

The annual Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership report is produced by researchers at St. Catherine University, in partnership with Twin Cities Business magazine.

The Census is sponsored by The Coven and the YWCA Minneapolis.

The Coven logo
YWCA Minneapolis logo with tagline "eliminating racism, empowering women"

TCB Talks: Women In Leadership

St. Catherine University is proud to be the presenting sponsor of TCB Talks: Women In Leadership, held on April 20, 2021, a conversation about gender equity and diversity in corporate leadership.

View the event recording

Full Collection of Reports