Thursday, March 30, 2023

At Fortune 500 Companies, Women Account for a Third of Workers, Firm Says

At Fortune 500 Companies, Women Account for a Third of Workers, Firm Says

News brief:

  • Women make up just over one-third of the employees at Fortune 500 companies, including 49% of employees at companies in the healthcare and HR sectors, according to data analysis by talent sourcing software firm Talenya.
  • A majority of Fortune 500 employees, 60%, are White, with Asian, Black or African American, and Hispanic or Latinx workers accounting for 20%, 10%, and 10% of all workers, respectively. Black and African American representation was highest among companies in the logistics and supply chain and airlines and aviation services industries.
  • The analysis found “no significant differences” between racial or ethnic groups with respect to measures of internal mobility within companies, but men in the analysis had a “marginally lower level of mobility compared to women,” Talenya said. Consumer goods were the industry with the highest percentage of total mobility for women.

The results indicate that Fortune 500 firms still have progress to make in order to attract more equitable talent pools, from the standpoint of both gender and racial or ethnic representation, Talenya said.

Gender representation equity was lowest among firms in the telecommunications and technology and services industries. Telecommunications also accounted for the lowest percentage of churn risk for women among industries in the analysis, defined as the likelihood employees will leave their companies over the next 12 months.

Culture has been cited as one of the most significant barriers to gender inclusivity in the tech sector. A September 2020 report published by Accenture and the nonprofit Girls Who Code said that employers in the space may be able to improve their cultures by providing maternity and paternity leave, setting leadership diversity goals, and encouraging access to mentors, sponsors, and resources networks, among other actions.

Meanwhile, Fortune 500 firms have made some gains in the past year with respect to increasing the diversity of upper management. For example, a report earlier this month by executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles found that 28% of newly created or vacant board seats in 2020 went to Black directors, compared to 10% in 2019.

Across managerial roles at Fortune 500 companies, Talenya’s analysis found Black and African American employees, as well as Hispanic and Latinx employees, were fairly represented, but it did find that White employees were slightly overrepresented and that Asian employees were underrepresented.

Access to mentorship opportunities, in particular, may allow diverse talent to better advance within organizations. Improving diverse representation in management could have other benefits; a 2020 study published in the Academy of Management Journal found organizations with higher levels of management diversity also achieved higher levels of productivity.