Bruce Murphy
Back in the News

The Glass Ceiling for Women

Latest report shows little progress for women in state’s corporate boardrooms.

By - Nov 25th, 2013 02:13 pm

Each year, Milwaukee Women Inc. tracks the progress of women in the boardrooms of Wisconsin’s top 50 publicly-held companies. As I noted last year, the group has been tracking this since 2003, and by fall 2012, the percent of women directors in Wisconsin’s Top 50 companies had increased from 9 percent to 14.4 percent – a net increase of 22 seats.

Still, I noted, “the progress is pretty slow, and there’s little sign this will change.”

In fact, this year’s just-released report shows no progress. The percent of women directors was 14.3 percent, about the same as last year.

The group’s 2011 report noted that companies in recent years have had a “relatively high number of opportunities to transform the composition of corporate boards,” but year after year, as new board positions open up, 70 to 90 percent of all newly elected directors are men.

Phyllis M. King, PhD. Professor/Associate Vice Chancellor Associate Director, Center for Ergonomics University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Phyllis M. King, PhD. Professor/Associate Vice Chancellor Associate Director, Center for Ergonomics University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The group has been pushing to increase the percent of woman directors to 25 percent, but Phyllis King, chair of Milwaukee Women inc and associate vice chancellor of academic affairs at UW-Milwaukee, told the Journal Sentinel the group might have to lower its expectations.

“‘We need to be realistic,’ King said, noting that Wisconsin is close to the national average for gender diversity in the boardroom and executive offices.”

Still, she said the organization will continue to make its case for gender diversity. Research shows that companies with diverse management have a better financial performance and are more innovative.

Some companies have gotten the message. Here the ten best companies when it comes to women in the boardrooms:

Ten Companies with Most Women Directors

Company Percentage of Women Directors
Alliant Energy Corporation 50.0%
Wisconsin Energy Corporation 33.3%
ManpowerGroup Inc. 30.8%
Brady Corporation 28.6%
Journal Communications, Inc. 28.6%
Associated Banc-Corp 27.3%
Manitowoc Company, Inc. 25.0%
MGE Energy, Inc. 25.0%
Modine Manufacturing Company 22.2%
Sensient Technologies Corporation 22.2%

And here are the 12 worst companies, all with no women directors:

12 Companies With No Women Directors

  • Bank Mutual Corporation
  • Generac Holdings Inc.
  • Joy Global Inc
  • Magnetek Inc.
  • Marten Transport, Ltd.
  • Rexnord Corporation
  • Roundy’s, Inc.
  • Spectrum Brands, Inc.
  • Strattec Security Corporation
  • Tufco Technologies Inc.
  • Twin Disc, Inc.
  • Waterstone Financial, Inc.
Categories: Back in the News

One thought on “Back in the News: The Glass Ceiling for Women”

  1. Mike Bark says:

    So boards are made up of middle aged white guys? Sort of sounds like the contributing writers at Urban Milwaukee.

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