2011 UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders: A Census of Women Directors and Highest-Paid Executives

California’s Glass Ceiling May Take a Century to Crack.

The UC Davis Graduate School of Management in partnership with Watermark publishes the annual "UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders: A Census of Women Directors and Executive Officers."

Our seventh annual study details the presence of women at the very top of the 400 largest publicly held corporations headquartered in the state. Our findings paint a disappointing picture of female representation on the boards and in the executive suites of these high-profile companies, which together represent nearly $3 trillion in shareholder value.

Women still hold fewer than one in 10 of the highest-paid executive positions and board seats at the top public firms in California — a rate that has improved by just 0.2 percent annually.

Key Findings of the 2011 Study

  • Overall, women held 9.7 percent of board seats and highest-paid executive positions — similar to last year’s findings.
  • More than one-third, or 136 (34 percent), of the 400 companies had no women among their board directors or highest-paid executives.
  • Women accounted for 9.2 percent of the 1,925 highest-paid executives reported by the 400 companies.
  • Women held 10 percent of the 3,224 board seats in the 400 companies.
  • No company had an all-female board or executive management team.
  • No company had both a gender-balanced board and executive management team.
  • More than 40 percent of the 136 companies that tied for last place, with no women executives or board members, are high-tech companies.
  • Only 13 public companies had a woman CEO, down from 16 in 2010.
  • The number of women CFOs increased from 35 last year to 45 this year — a 28.6 percent increase.
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