Monday, March 24, 2008

Backslide of women at the top

There's a rich article on this issue in this month's Portfolio.com - called Sexism.

Some fascinating statistics
- the gap between men and women's pay improved over the last 25 years, but it slipped back in 2006 and women's pay is still only 78.7% of men's
- only 14.8% of Fortune 500 board seats are held by women and it's been flat for 3 years
- the number of female corporate officers at the Fortune 500 companies has dropped in each of the past 3 years
- combine this with the stats on Silicon Valley boards where the valley is already substantially behind the rest of the country - we've a long way to go

And alongside an article about Wall Street's most powerful woman - Erin Callan who is CFO at Lehman - and who the reporter speculates "might not rise higher".

However, there is one corner of the financial services industry where women are surging ahead and that is as Chief Investment Officers of endowments and private foundations - as reported by the New York Times last Friday.
- women now run 10 of the largest 50 foundations and endowments, up from 4 ten years ago, including the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the Gordan and Betty Moore Foundation.

This issue will improve in jobs that are measurable - like money management - faster than in the more subjective positions. There the prejudice of women's style in the workplace - see my post on this irritating issue - will continue.

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