Gender Diversity Survey— 2013 Proxy Season Results

The Fenwick & West Gender Diversity Survey provides exclusive insight into women’s participation in leadership positions of the companies included in the Standard & Poor’s 100 Index (S&P 100) and the high-technology and life science companies included in the Silicon Valley 150 Index (SV 150).

This unique body of information covers gender diversity trends among the board members and leadership teams of publicly traded companies for the period from the 1996 proxy season through the 2013 proxy season.

Companies, board members and C-level executives can use this survey as a statistical benchmark for Silicon Valley leaders in comparison to the landscape of large public companies nationally.

Download the 70 page report for the results of the first survey ever to review approximately eighteen years of filings to analyze the gender makeup of boards and management teams.

Within the review of gender diversity on the board of directors, the survey analyzes gender diversity on board committees and in board and committee leadership.

Similarly, within the review of the gender diversity of executive management teams, the survey analyzes the gender diversity of executive officers and “named executive officers,” as well as specific review of the following positions:

  • 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

Key takeaways from the survey include:

  • Growth rates. On average in 2013, among S&P 100 companies 19.9% of board members were women, up from 10.9% in 1996. Over the past 18 years, women board members in the SV 150 grew to 9.1% on average in 2013, up from 2.1% in 1996.
  • Size matters. While the data shows greater numbers of women in the boardrooms and executive suites of S&P 100 companies, those larger companies tend to have larger boards, and larger boards tend to have more women in terms of absolute numbers. In addition, larger boards are more likely to have at least one woman director.
  • Compensation. Women are rarely among the five most highly paid executives in either group. In the 2013 proxy season (generally covering 2012 compensation), women were on average 10.7% of “named executive officers” in the SV 150 and 8.9% of “named executive officers” in the S&P 100.
  • SV 150 has fewer women in board positions. In 2013, 98% of S&P 100 companies had at least one woman director; in fact, women make up on average 20% of the members of S&P 100 company boards. SV 150 companies average about half that level, and 43% do not have a woman director.