Corporate Women Directors International 2010 Report:
Women Board Directors of the 2009 Fortune Global 200

 

Key Findings

• Good news: Over three-quarters (77.5%) of the 200 largest companies in the world, as ranked by Fortune in 2009, have at least one woman director on their board.
 
• Good news: For the first time in the three CWDI reports on women board directors of the Fortune Global 200, the number of companies with two women board members is higher (58) than the number of companies with only one woman director (51). Fifteen companies had four or more board seats held by women.
 
• Bad news: Conversely, 45 of the largest 200 companies in the world still do not have a single woman on their Board of Directors -- the same number of companies as in the 2007 CWDI Report on Women Board Directors of Fortune Global 200 Companies.

• Bad news: The total percentage of women board members globally continued to increase at a glacial pace. The percentage of board seats held by women from 2006-2009 increased by only 1% to 12.2% from 11.2% in 2007. This means that men still hold 87.8% of all board appointments to the 200 largest companies in the world.
 
• Part of the reason for the seeming status quo in women’s accession to board seats is the changed composition of the Fortune listing. There are new countries represented – Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which traditionally do not have significant numbers of women in leadership roles.
 
• In addition, Asian companies comprise the majority of companies with no women directors. Twenty-nine (29) of the 45 companies with no women on the boards, or 64.4%, are from Asia.
 
• Among the world’s largest companies, the U.S. continues to be the pacesetter in appointing women to board seats. 19.5% of all board directors of U.S. companies in the study are women. This marks a 1.9% increase from the 2007 CWDI Report.
 
Norway’s Statoil company and U.S.-based Kraft Corporation lead CWDI’s “Top Ten” list of companies with the highest percentage of women directors with 40% of board seats in each company held by women.  U.S. companies dominate this “Top Ten” listing. China places one company for the first time in the Top Ten with China Construction Bank at 28.6%. All five companies with women CEOs in the Fortune Global 200 are included in the Top Ten listing.
 
• The country which leads Europe and has the second highest percentage overall is the Netherlands with 15.9% women’s representation on the boards of the eight companies in this listing.  In five years, the Netherlands increased its percentage of women directors from 8.6% to 15.9%. Switzerland ranks third with 14.3% women directors on the boards of its five companies in the study, raising their percentage of women directors in its largest companies from 7.7% to 11.2%. Lastly, France saw a similar increase of female representation on its large company boards from 3.6% to 11.2%.
 
• These increases in the Netherlands, Switzerland and France are due in part to greater advocacy, research and attention to the issue of women on boards. Both the Netherlands and France have passed laws mandating quotas for women directors in their respective countries similar to that of Norway’s. Spain has also enacted a quota law requiring 50% of board seats to be allocated for women.
 
• All countries which had at least five companies in the Fortune Global 200 in 2009 increased their percentage of women directors with one exception -- the United Kingdom. The U.K. saw a drop in the percentage of women board directors in the companies included in the Fortune listing from 13.9% to 10.6%.
 
• Among Fortune’s current listing of the 200 largest companies in the world, the Food Consumer Products industry had the highest representation of women directors in an industry comparison -- 27.1% of board seats in the companies in this field being female.

To View the Companies with the Highest Percentages of Women Directors and the Companies with zero Women Directors, click here

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