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EWNJ: 18 percent of board seats at NJ’s top companies are held by women

New Jersey companies are slightly better at including women on their executive boards now than they were in 2017, according to a report by the Executive Women of New Jersey.

Of 965 board seats at 100 companies, 175 of them were held by women. Percentage-wise, that’s 18.1 percent – 1.1 percent more than the seats held by women in 2017.

EWNJ’s A Seat at the Table report, produced in collaboration with PwC, provides statistics on the representation of women on the boards of the 100 publicly held New Jersey companies in the Russell 3000. It also provides data on women in chief executive and executive officer positions.

EWNJ released the report Oct. 29 at its A Seat at the Table breakfast at the APA Hotel Woodbridge in Iselin. This is its fourth report.

“We hope this report will continue to encourage companies to add women to their own boards and demonstrate how sitting board members, CEOs and nominating committee chairs can do their part to advance women and increase diversity,” the report said.

New Jersey’s 20 Fortune 500 companies within the Russell 3000 had 58 of 226 board seats filled by women. That’s 25.7 percent of all board seats, which is an increase over 2017 when 23.6 percent of the seats were filled by women.

Of the 100 companies evaluated, 16 percent had no female directors, compared to 23.2 percent in 2017 and 25 percent in 2015. Of the 20 Fortune 500 companies in the Russell 3000, each had at least one female director.

Five of the companies had a female chief executive, down from seven in 2017.

Thirty of the 100 companies, which span various industries, have three or more women on their boards. Retailers Ascena Retail Group Inc., Bed Bath & Beyond and Burlington Stores made the list; as did pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co. Inc., and Celgene Corp.

Gabrielle Saulsbery
Albany, N.Y. native Gabrielle Saulsbery is a staff writer for NJBIZ and the newest thing in New Jersey. You can contact her at gsaulsbery@njbiz.com.

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