According to this year’s Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors Executive Officers and Top Earners, women have not made a significant gain in the last year and are no further along the corporate ladder than they were 8 years ago. Lori Cornmesser Permanent

“Company shave much to gain by defying assumption and taking action to advance talented women. In light of yet another Catalyst study demonstrating the powerful correlation between increase women’s leadership and better business performance, continue obstacles to progress make no sense,” said Ilene H. lang, President & CEO of Catalyst.

Prior Catalyst research has also revealed that women advancing to leadership roles is good for women and good for business:

  • Companies with more women in top leadership roles outperform those with fewer.
  • Companies with more women board members and directors are more likely to have women corporate officers in the following five years.
  • Companies with more women in senior leadership positions foster more corporate philanthropy and have a higher-quality Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Catalyst also believes that companies who enable talented woman to advance and contribute have a quince opportunity.

Setting business targets with accountability. Some tips:

  • Asking if skills, knowledge, and experience of employees are evaluated differently depending on a candidate’s gender.
  • Checking if the “think-leader-think-male” default is still present and active within the company’s workforce environment.
  • Determining whether persistent myths are still in play.

“Its what companies do— beyond commitment— that counts,” says Ms. Lang. “Particularly in today’s challenging economy, staying competitive in an increasingly global marketplace requires cultivating fresh perspectives and you don’t get that by perpetuating n’all of the same’ leadership model. Catalyst encourages organizations to step up and ensure that talented employees— regardless of gender— have opportunities to advance and contribute. It’s the smart thing and the right thing to do.”

About Catalyst: Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leader in the nonprofit membership organization market. It is expanding opportunities for women and businesses. With offices int he US, Canada, Europe, and India, and more than 500 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for search, information and advice about women in the workforce.