U.C. Davis

Where are Apple's women execs?

November 24, 2008: 9:24 AM ET

women in businessThank goodness for Andrea Jung.

Jung, the CEO of Avon Products (AVP), was elected to Apple's (AAPL) board of directors last January (link), and on the strength of her presence in the board room, the company is ranked No. 262 in the fourth annual U.C. Davis census of women directors and executive officers in California's 400 largest companies.

If it weren't for Jung, Apple would be lumped with the 117 (29.2%) companies tied for last place, with no women at the top. As it is, her election to the board raised Apple's percentage of female directors and executives to only 5.9%, well below the statewide average of 10.9%.

In a year in which a woman came this close to winning the highest public office in the land, the glass ceiling is very much intact in California -- particularly in Silicon Valley.

As dean Nicole Woolsey Biggart notes in the U.C. Davis report issued last week, "little has changed" in the gender diversity of the state's largest companies -- despite the fanfare with which the university's study has been greeted in past years.

Among this year's findings:

  • Almost half (48.5%) of California companies have no women executive officers and even fewer (46.8%) have female directors.
  • The telecommunications sector has the lowest percentage (3.6%) of women directors; the pharmaceuticals sector has the highest percentage (14.6%).
  • Only 2.4% of executive officers in the electronics sector are women.
  • Among counties with at least 20 companies, the Bay Area has the county with the greatest number of women directors (San Francisco, 15.2%) as well as the county with the least, Silicon Valley (Santa Clara, 8.4%)

Although there is one woman on Apple's 8-member board of directors, men make up its entire 11-member executive team.

For links to full U.C. Davis report, click here. For Fortune's list of the 50 most powerful women in business, click here.

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