October 24, 2013
Far too few women reach the top rungs of the corporate ladder in Louisiana, according to a new Tulane University report that finds women occupy only 7.2 percent of the total board positions on the state’s top 50 publicly traded companies.
More than half of the state’s public companies have no women on the board and 62 percent have no women as top paid executives, according to the report, which uses recent Securities Exchange Commission filings to analyze gender diversity among boards and executive leadership teams.
“Fundamental fairness demands that women serve on boards of directors. It makes no sense to waste half of our talent pool,” said Sally Kenney, executive director of the Newcomb College Institute, which funded the study. “We need to put pressure on these companies to recruit women and develop lists of well-qualified women in Louisiana ready to serve. We call on corporate leaders to do better.”
Saru Matambanadzo, associate professor of law at Tulane University School of Law, compiled the report, which is available at tulane.edu/newcomb. She found:
• Women occupy just 26 of the 363 total board positions among the companies studied.
• Only 39 (13.6 percent) of the companies’ 287 total executive officers are women.
• Just 16 (8.4 percent) of the 191 top paid executives are women.
• Only one public company in Louisiana has more than 3 women on its corporate board -- CKX Lands Inc., where women hold 33 percent of the top leadership positions.
The study was sponsored by the Newcomb College Institute, in partnership with the InterOrganizationNetwork (ION) and the New Orleans chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Newcomb College Institute’s mission is to educate undergraduate women for leadership in the 21st century. It supports women students’ research initiatives, advocates for a gender-integrated curriculum, develops community engaged service-learning courses, promotes student organizations for women and brings women leaders to campus.
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