Some companies aren’t on board with female leaders

Some companies aren’t on board with female leaders

Women made incremental progress in obtaining top corporate positions in the 100 largest publicly traded companies in Massachusetts, according to a group that has been tracking hiring trends of female executives.

The Boston Club's 12th annual census found that despite a record 63 vacancies on company boards in the year that ended on June 30, 2014, only 12 women were chosen to fill those openings.

This year's census, titled "No More Excuses," found that the biggest changes in its list came because seven companies dropped off the list, replaced by seven companies that had more female board members and women in top management positions. So the percentage of women (127 total, a new record) on corporate boards in Massachusetts' top 100 public companies rose to 14.9 percent, according to the census. That is up from 118 women in 2013 and 108 women in 2012. Progress has been of the slow-and-steady variety.

But the 93 companies that remained made little strides in hiring women for top posts, the census found. And in Central Massachusetts, a few companies stepped backwards.

Why are women not being named at a better rate?

The census found that "despite the increasing number of talented women rising through the ranks of corporate America, too many nominating committees and executive search firms continue to voice a version of the following refrain: 'We would love to add a woman director, but we can't find anyone qualified to join our board.' "

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