Leadership in the Fortune 500: Women at the Executive Level of Corporate Management

Document Type


Publication Date



Published in: Journal of Business & Economics Research, Vol. 2, No. 12, 2004.


This study examines the influence of executive women in business using a sample of firms included in the Fortune 500. Our analysis looks at the movement of female executives on or off corporate management to determine whether an increase of female representation at the highest levels of corporate management signals an increased commitment of a firm to a higher representation of females on their boards of directors. Our sample includes a group of 73 corporations for which we longitudinally examined the data for women at the director and executive manager levels for the period from 1999 through 2003. Our data indicate that, while the number of firms having multiple female directors increased over this period, the increase was even more pronounced for women at the executive management level. Our data also indicate that, while the number of executive level managers was relatively stable (increased) between 1999 and 2001 (2001 and 2003), the number of women at this level increased by 25.5 (27.1) percent.

This document is currently not available here.