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COVER STORY
TAKING CHARGE

STILL FEW WOMEN AT THE TOP

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Few and far between
Forty-two major U.S. chemical companies average fewer than one woman executive per firm
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COVER STORY
July 2, 2001
Volume 79, Number 27
CENEAR 79 27 p.18-19
ISSN 0009-2347
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STILL FEW WOMEN AT THE TOP
Gains for women come extremely slowly in the executive ranks of the chemical industry

ALEXANDER H. TULLO, C&EN NORTHEAST NEWS BUREAU

The chemical industry in the U.S. isn't shy about taking credit for ways that it has enhanced people's lives. It talks about products that prevent injury, programs that have made the industry safer to work in, and environmental improvements that have reduced emissions while increasing production over the past decade.

But in other areas, the chemical industry is way behind the times, particularly in the number of women in key executive positions.

This fact is evident in the 2001 installment of an informal survey that C&EN conducts every year examining the number of women sitting on the boards of directors and holding top executive positions in the chemical industry.

Not a single one of the 42 companies surveyed has a woman chief executive officer or chief operating officer.
C&EN examined annual reports and proxy statements for 2000 to get a breakdown of the boards of directors and used annual reports and 10-K reports filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission to examine the demographics of executive officers at different publicly traded companies.

As was the case last year (C&EN, May 8, 2000, page 36), C&EN set aside a lot of space to print nothing but zeros in a few of the categories that appear in the resulting tables. Not a single one of the 42 companies surveyed has a woman chief executive officer or chief operating officer (COO). None of the companies has a woman that is both a director and an employee.

The chief financial officer (CFO) category would look the same if it weren't for NL Industries, parent company to titanium dioxide maker Kronos. Susan E. Alderton has served NL Industries for more than three years as CFO.

There is better representation of women on the boards of directors, but the results still don't make chemical companies look like the rest of the population. Only 10.8% of the 436 board members surveyed are women. Nine companies have no women sitting on their boards at all. A few companies have larger representation of women: Three women are on DuPont's 13-member board, and four are on General Electric's 19-member board. On average, every chemical company has 1.1 women on its board.

WOMEN ARE even less represented in management. Only 6.4% of the 453 people that the surveyed companies list as executive officers are women. The companies average a mere 0.7 women per executive officer staff. Some 20 companies surveyed have no women executive officers. IMC Global, on the other hand, lists the most: three out of 13. Five companies list two women executive officers.

Of the 29 women executives in the survey, 19 hold the title of vice president and few lead business units. But most of the women surveyed also have titles that reflect a support role such as vice president of human resources. Three of the women executives are presidents of business groups, three are executive vice presidents, and four are senior vice presidents.

However, the survey doesn't capture every woman executive. Some of these women--like Kathleen M. Bader, Dow Chemical's business group president of the polystyrene and engineering plastics unit and vice president of quality and business excellence--are no doubt indispensable to the leadership of their respective companies. Bader is in charge of Dow's Six Sigma quality and efficiency program, an important company initiative.

Since its 2000 10-K report was filed, Dow has appointed a woman to an executive officer position. Other companies have also made changes to their management teams and boards.

The results of this year's survey aren't exactly comparable with last year's because a few of the companies have changed and, this year, only executive officers were included in the survey, not the larger but ill-defined corporate officer category used in 1999. As a result, fewer executives are included. This system also yields a lower percentage of women.

That said, last year 7.3% percent of the executives surveyed were women. At the time, they made up about 9.7% of the boards. Even with a slightly different basis of comparison, little has changed.

However, one change from last year is notable: There is one fewer woman director at Chevron Corp.--Condoleezza Rice left the firm to become President George W. Bush's national security adviser.

C&EN isn't alone in surveying women executives. Catalyst, a New York City-based research organization that studies issues involving women in the workplace, has, for many years, conducted a similar survey looking at all Fortune 500 companies, a few of which are the same companies that C&EN surveys.

The Catalyst report released last November reveals that the chemical industry is not the exception to the rule, although it lags somewhat behind the rest of the corporate world.

Of 12,945 corporate officers that Catalyst surveyed as of March 31, 2000, 12.5% were women. There has been modest improvement: In 1995, Catalyst reported that women held 8.7% of some 11,241 corporate officer positions.

Catalyst did find two women CEOs in the 500 companies in 2000: Carleton (Carly) S. Fiorina, the familiar head of Hewlett-Packard, and Andrea Jung, of Avon Products, who incidently is captured in C&EN's survey as a director for General Electric.

But there is hope. A woman has been appointed to head Shell Chemical (see page 15), and perhaps a female CEO at a publicly traded U.S. chemical company is not far behind. Even Catalyst's figures reveal that industry changes slowly; any change for the better next year will be duly noted.

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Few and far between
Forty-two major U.S. chemical companies average fewer than one woman executive per firm
BOARD OF DIRECTORS WOMEN IN MANAGEMENT
WOMEN TOTAL EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
INSIDE OUTSIDE WOMEN BOARD CEO COO CFO TOTAL WOMEN FUNCTION
Air Products & Chemicals 0 1 1 14 0 0 0 7 0
Albemarle 0 1 1 9 0 0 0 16 0
Alcoa 0 2 2 11 0 0 0 14 1 VP, corporate development
Arch Chemicals 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 12 1 VP, strategic development, general counsel, and secretary
Ashland 0 2 2 12 0 0 0 14 0
Cabot 0 1 1 13 0 0 0 8 0
Cambrex 0 2 2 11 0 0 0 15 1 President, Innovator Pharmaceutical business
Chevron 0 1 1 9 0 0 0 9 1 VP and president, Chevron Products Co.
Crompton 0 1 1 8 0 0 0 18 1 Executive VP, Osi
Cytec Industries 0 1 1 7 0 0 0 8 0
Dow Chemical 0 2 2 15 0 0 0 10 0
DuPont 0 3 3 13 0 0 0 5 1 Senior VP, chief administrative officer, and general counsel
Eastman Chemical 0 1 1 11 0 0 0 11 2 VP, communications and public affairs; VP, general counsel, and secretary
Engelhard 0 1 1 8 0 0 0 7 0
Ethyl 0 1 1 7 0 0 0 18 2 VP, government relations; VP, health, safety, and the environment
Ferro 0 1 1 11 0 0 0 8 0
FMC 0 1 1 13 0 0 0 12 1 VP and treasurer
H.B. Fuller 0 2 2 12 0 0 0 17 1 Group president and general manager, specialty
General Electric 0 4 4 19 0 0 0 21 0
Georgia Gulf 0 0 0 8 0 0 0 7 0
Goodyear 0 1 1 13 0 0 0 23 1 VP and treasurer
W.R. Grace 0 1 1 6 0 0 0 5 0
Great Lakes Chemical 0 0 0 9 0 0 0 8 0
Hercules 0 2 2 14 0 0 0 11 1 Executive VP and chief administrative officer
Honeywell 0 1 1 13 0 0 0 7 0
IMC Global 0 1 1 8 0 0 0 13 3 Senior VP, general counsel; senior VP, environment, health, and safety; VP and controller
Intl. Specialty Products 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 6 1 Executive VP and treasurer
Kerr-McGee 0 2 2 11 0 0 0 11 2 VP and controller; VP, administration
Lubrizol 0 2 2 11 0 0 0 16 1 Assistant secretary
Lyondell 0 1 1 9 0 0 0 10 1 VP, general counsel, and secretary
Millennium 0 0 0 8 0 0 0 8 0
Mississippi Chemical 0 0 0 13 0 0 0 9 1 VP, administration
NL Industries 0 0 0 7 0 0 1 6 1 VP and CFO
Occidental 0 1 1 11 0 0 0 16 0
Phelps Dodge 0 1 1 10 0 0 0 8 0
PPG Industries 0 1 1 10 0 0 0 5 0
Praxair 0 1 1 10 0 0 0 6 0
Rohm and Haas 0 2 2 15 0 0 0 8 1 Senior VP, chemical specialties
Solutia 0 1 1 10 0 0 0 10 2 VP, human resources and public affairs; VP and general manager, performance films
Stepan 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 9 1 VP, human resources
Sterling Chemicals 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 4 0
Vulcan 0 1 1 11 0 0 0 17 0
TOTAL 0 47 47 436 0 0 1 453 29
WOMEN DIRECTORS PER COMPANY 1.1
WOMEN DIRECTORS AS % OF BOARD POSITIONS 10.8%
WOMEN EXECUTIVES PER COMPANY 0.7
WOMEN EXECUTIVES AS % OF POSITIONS 6.4%
NOTE: CEO = chief executive officer, CFO = chief financial officer, COO = chief operating officer, and VP = vice president.

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