Company News

CSW News Roundup: October 2023

Highlights in business diversity from the past month
CSW News Roundup
Image: CSP and Shutterstock

Recent news and insights on women in leadership from convenience stores and beyond.

Viva la Recovery

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labor market and women lost millions of jobs, the country plunged into the first women’s recession, according to a report from The 19th News. It was the first time women had experienced more job losses than men in one catastrophic economic contraction.

Economists feared it could take decades for women to recover. But just three years later, that recovery has already arrived.

As a group, women are back to pre-pandemic employment levels, the report said. They are now half of the labor force—a threshold they have crossed only twice before. And prime-age working women, those ages 25 to 54, have led that recovery, forging ahead into new careers, pushing for jobs with better pay and benefits, and reaping the rewards of workplaces that are more accommodating of remote work, which often allows them the flexibility to manage caregiving responsibilities.

Achieving Balance

50/50 Women on Boards, a nonprofit education and advocacy campaign driving the movement toward gender balance and diversity on corporate boards, announced that as of June 30, 2023, women hold 29% of the Russell 3000 company board seats, an increase of only one percentage point from 28% in second-quarter 2022 and the smallest gain in over five years; however, corporations with gender-balanced boards or three or more women on their boards increased by three percentage points from the previous year to 55%.

The Russell 3000 Index measures the performance of the largest 3,000 U.S. companies representing approximately 96% of the investable U.S. equity market.

Using the data provided by Equilar, the 50/50 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index reveals that boards exhibit greater diversity "When Women Lead" and hold the position of CEO, board chair or nominating committee chair. When women hold all three positions, the percentage of women on those boards is 48%, nearing gender parity. Of the 27 companies in this category, 63% are gender balanced, compared to companies where women hold no leadership positions and have only 6% gender-balanced boards.

Battling Inequity

Auditing and consulting firm Deloitte found employed women have as much as $15.4 billion more in out-of-pocket medical expenses a year than men. 

While women and men tend to buy the same health insurance products, Deloitte health actuaries found the coverage they receive is generally not the same. The report, "Hiding in Plain Sight—The Healthcare Gender Toll," revealed that based on current benefit coverage, women's out-of-pocket costs are disproportionately higher than men's for every age from 19 to 64, even when excluding pregnancy-related services.

The report recommends health insurers and employers examine and redesign benefit coverage to reduce the financial gap experienced by women and help drive health equity and optimal health and well-being for all people.

Women in Charge

Despite longstanding gender biases in the media, the presidents of all major U.S. news organizations are currently women, according to a report on EasternProgress.com.

Female leaders include Kimberly Godwin (ABC News), Wendy McMahon (CBS News), Rashida Jones (MSNBC) and Suzanne Scott (Fox News). Additionally, the CEO of The New York Times is a woman (Meredith Kopit Levien). CNN has recently announced that CEO Chris Licht is stepping down and while searching for his replacement will be led by a trio: Amy Entelis, Virginia Mosele and Eric Sherling make up a two-thirds female CNN leadership team.

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