close

For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

FLEX by Fenwick is the only service created by an AmLaw 100 firm that provides flexible and cost-effective solutions for interim in-house legal needs to high-growth companies.  MORE >

Fenwick & West handles significant cross-border legal and business issues for a wide range of technology and life sciences who operate internationally..  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney

MORE >

We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

Mountain View Office
Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650.988.8500

San Francisco Office
555 California Street
12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
415.875.2300

Seattle Office
1191 Second Avenue
10th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
206.389.4510

New York Office
1211 Avenue of the Americas
32nd Floor
New York, NY 10036
212.921.2001

Shanghai Office
Unit 908, 9/F, Kerry Parkside Office
No. 1155 Fang Dian Road
Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201204
P.R. China
+86 21 8017 1200


Gender Diversity Survey—2016 Proxy Season Results



​The Fenwick & West Gender Diversity Survey provides unique insight into women’s participation at the most senior levels of public technology and life sciences companies in the Silicon Valley 150 Index (SV 150) and the large public companies in the Standard & Poor’s 100 Index (S&P 100).

The report reviews public filings from 1996 through 2016 to analyze the gender makeup of boards, board leadership, board committees and executive management teams in the two groups, with special comparisons showing how the top 15 largest companies in the SV 150 fare, as they are the peers of the large public companies included in the S&P 100.

Companies, board members and C-level executives can use this survey as a statistical benchmark for Silicon Valley leaders, as well as for comparison to the landscape of the largest public companies across the United States.

Download the report that reviews twenty-one years of filings to analyze the gender makeup of boards and management teams.

Key observations from the survey include:


Growth rates remain low.

  • The representation of women on boards continued to increase between 2014—the last year Fenwick published the Gender Diversity Survey—and 2016 in the United States but at lower rates than in other countries. The average percentage of women directors increased 4.1 percentage points in the SV 150 to 14.1% in 2016 and in the S&P 100 rose 2.2 percentage points to 23.1% (with the top 15 companies in the SV 150 increasing 6.5 percentage points to 22.2%).
  • However, in both the S&P 100 and the top 15 of the SV 150, 100% of companies have had at least one woman director in the last few years. In the SV 150 overall, the percentage of companies with at least one woman director increased 12 percentage points to 74%.

Size continues to matter—the bigger the company, the more diverse its leadership.

  • Larger companies by revenue and market capitalization tend to have larger boards and executive management teams, which tend to be more diverse.
  • In recent years, the top 15 largest companies in the SV 150 have surpassed the S&P 100 in percentage of women in board leadership positions, including board chairs, lead directors, and committee chairs.
  • What’s more, when measured in terms of likelihood of being in a board leadership position among women that serve as board members, the top 15 of the SV 150 and the SV 150 overall have been significantly more likely to include women in board leadership positions than the S&P 100.

Women CEOs are rare in the United States, but companies in the SV 150 and S&P 100 exceed the general corporate population.

  • Women Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) continue to be a rarity in the United States but companies in the SV 150, with 6% women CEOs, and the S&P 100, with 7% women CEOs, appear to slightly exceed the percentage of women CEOs in the general corporate population (approximately 4%).
  • The top 15 companies of the SV 150, though a small sample set, notched a notable increase in women CEOs, coming in at 13.3%.

Women NEOs are more likely in the SV 150 than the S&P 100.

  • The average percentage growth rate of women named executive officers (NEOs)—executives that are generally the most highly compensated and in some sense those that a company considers among the most important—has been faster in the SV 150 (approximately 705% growth) than in the S&P 100 (approximately 544% growth).
  • What’s more, when measured in terms of likelihood of being an NEO among women that serve as executive officers, the SV 150 has been significantly more likely to include women as NEOs than the S&P 100, and in the most recent year the top 15 of the SV 150 were slightly more likely to include women than men as NEOs.

Full Coverage:

For each of the S&P 100, top 15 of the SV 150 and the full SV 150, the survey includes review of the gender diversity of:

  • overall gender diversity (Fenwick Gender Diversity ScoreTM)
  • board of directors
  • board committees
  • board and committee leadership
  • executive officers
  • NEOs
  • chief executive officer (CEO)
  • president/top operations executive
  • chief financial officer (CFO)
  • top legal officer/general counsel (GC)
  • top technology/engineering/r&d executive
  • top sales executive
  • top marketing executive
  • top corporate/business development executive

The survey also includes data broken down by the top 50, middle 50 and bottom 50 of the SV 150 in a variety of categories.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​