Women on Corporate Boards of
U.S. Fortune 500 Companies Increases

The number of women on corporate boards of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies rose to 735 in 2001 from 711 in 2000, according to a study conducted by Catalyst. The increase brings the percentage of women on corporate boards to 12.4% compared to 11.7% in 2000. At the second tier companies, those ranked between 501 and 1,000, the increase was not as great. Women now make up 8.9% of the board of those companies up from 805% two years ago.

The study also found that:

The number of Fortune 500 companies with at least one woman director rose to 434 this year from 430 last year and 345 in 1993.

Thirty of the top companies have 25% or more women directors, up from 23 companies in 2000.

Women of color – African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American – hold 2.6% of board seats in the 409 companies for which racial data was available.

The companies among the nation’s top 1,000 companies with the highest percentage of women directors are Avon Products Inc., where 60% of directors are women; Golden West Financial Corp with 56%; Charming Shoppes Inc. with 44%; Eastman Kodak Co. with 42%; and Beverly Enterprises, 40%.

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