Women in Corporate Leadership: A Status Report

October 2006

Center for Corporate Diversity has released the second comparative report on women in corporate leadership. The report contains recent figures from 7 countries around the world. The seven countries are: 
South Africa
The UK
The USA 
The analysis gives reason for concern about the slow development in all countries examined in the report.

Norway has implemented a quota law of 40 % women on corporate boards, to be fully effected by December 2007. During the last three years there has been an extensive debate in Sweden whether they should implement a similar law, Norway and Sweden have the highest proportion of Women Board Directors registered in any country

This is however not reflected in the development of corporate executive leadership. In both countries the gap between the number of top executive women and women on corporate boards has widened considerably. The definition of the top executive positions is somewhat wider in the reports from Australia and South Africa, than is the case for the five other countries. Still, even if the definition in these two countries is limited to fewer positions, the increase would be even smaller. South Africa experiences a decrease in the number of top executive women.

From 2003 to 2006 the proportion of Women Board Directors increased from 20 to 29 % in Norway. The number of Women Executive Directors increased from 12,4 % to 14 %.

In Sweden the number of Women Board Directors increased from 6,1 % to 17 %. The number of Executive Women Directors increased from 11,1 % to 11,6 %.

The report requires minimum of 100 companies from each country, The total number of companies reported is 2100.

Country Companies Time Period Annual Increase
Canada* 500 2002-2004 0,2% points
Australia** 500 2002-2006 0.15%
USA*** 500 2002-2005 0,5%
South Africa**** 200 2003-2005 -1%
UK***** 100 2000-2005 0.3
Norway 100 2003-2006 0.7%
Sweden SE listed 2002-2005 0.2%

*Catalyst Canada
**Macquaire University Australia
*** Catalyst USA
**** BWASA Johannesburg
***** Cranfield School of Management, UK