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Cracking the glass ceiling

The 2011 Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership is in the April issue of Twin Cities Business magazine.
The 2011 Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership is in the April issue of Twin Cities Business magazine.
St. Catherine University.

Despite a growing body of research supporting the correlation between gender diversity on corporate boards and higher profits, only 10 percent of new board members appointed in fiscal 2011 at Minnesota’s top 100 public companies were women, according to the 2011 Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership.

The only progress made by women in 2011 was in the executive officer ranks. Despite a decrease in the total number of executive officers reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission —from 731 in 2010 to 708 in 2011—the number of women increased one percentage point to 17.4 percent.

St. Catherine University collaborates with the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable on the annual survey, which examines the percentage of women serving on boards and as executive officers of Minnesota’s 100 largest publicly held corporations.

The fourth edition of the Minnesota Census appears in the April issue of Twin Cities Business magazine.  The census and strategies for action will be discussed by a panel of leaders at the March 30 Women in Corporate Leadership luncheon at the Golden Valley Country Club.

The 2011 Minnesota Census reports:

  • Only five women were among the 50 independent directors appointed to corporate boards in 2011.
  • Women hold 14.2 percent of all board seats — unchanged since 2008.
  • Women hold 17.4 percent of all executive officer positions— an increase of one percentage point from 2010.
  • Nineteen of the state’s top 100 companies have no women either on their boards or in executive officer positions.
  • Twenty-eight companies have no women corporate directors.
  • Fourteen companies, up from 12 in 2010, now have board members who are women of color.
  • For the fourth year in a row, Target and MTS Systems lead gender diversity with more than 30 percent of both their boards and executive suites comprised of women.

National statistics

The 2011 Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate Leadership is part of a national initiative by ION (InterOrganization Network), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing women in corporate leadership.  Among the 14 regional organizations reporting to ION, women hold between 8.1 percent and 17.7 percent of board seats.

About the Minnesota Census

Data for the 2011 Minnesota Census were drawn from SEC filings as of June 30, 2011. Rebecca Hawthorne, Ph.D., and Joann Bangs, Ph.D., associate professors in the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program at St. Catherine University, conduct the research each year. The Census also is available online.

Focused on action

On Friday, March 30, at the Golden Valley Country Club, Twin Cities Business and St. Catherine University will host a luncheon and a discussion about the powerful benefits of women in corporate leadership roles, the challenges still facing many who want to ascend the ranks and what’s being done to eliminate those barriers.

Moderated by TCB Editor-in-Chief Dale Kurschner, the panel includes: Andrew Duff, president/CEO, Piper Jaffray Cos.; Paula King, Ph.D., dean of the St. Catherine University School of Business and Leadership; Mary Ranum, shareholder and chair, board of directors, Fredrikson & Byron; and Shirley Weis, chief administrative officer, Mayo Clinic.

Tickets are $50 per person and may be reserved by emailing Kristie Altstatt or calling 612-336-9288.

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March 23, 2012 by Julie Michener

See also: Business, Faculty, Leadership