Study: Glass ceiling for women in business remains intact

A new UC Davis study suggests that the glass ceiling remains firmly in place for female executives in California and likely will stay there for a long time.

The seventh annual "Study of California Women Business Leaders," released Wednesday by the UC Davis Graduate School of Business, found that women occupy fewer than one in 10 of the top posts at the 400 largest public firms headquartered in the state.

At the current rate of advancement for women – 0.2 percent annually, according to the study – officials said it will take California more than a century to achieve gender equity in those companies.

The study also showed that more than a third (136) of the top 400 had no women among their highest-paid executives or board directors.

"There are plenty of qualified women to hire and promote, but the vast majority of the 400 largest public companies in the state don't seem to recognize that," said Steven Currall, dean of the management school.

The study looked at the five highest-paid executives for each company, as reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission through June of this year.

The top 400 companies were determined by market capitalization. More than 200 are in the Bay Area; 178 are based in Southern California.

Other study findings included:

Women accounted for 9.2 percent of the 1,925 highest-paid executives at the 400 companies.

Women held 10 percent of the 3,224 board seats.

No company had an all-female board or executive management team.

More than 40 percent of the 136 companies that tied for last place, with no female executives or board members, are high-tech companies.

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