Women make up half the population but only have a quarter of Wisconsin’s corporate board seats | Wisconsin Public Radio
While women make up about half the population, they only represent about a quarter of board seats for Wisconsin’s top-50 public corporations, according to a new research report from Milwaukee Women inc.
The report, which was released earlier this month, shows that women have made significant progress since 2003 — when the group first began recording representation data. But the report also found disparities in the number of women of color holding corporate board seats.
Women make up 26.3 percent of Wisconsin’s top-50 public corporate boards, which exceeds Milwaukee Women inc.’s goal of 25 percent representation by 2025, according to the report.
Among the state’s top-50 private companies, women hold almost 20.5 percent of board seats, the report said. That’s higher than the national average of 14 percent.
Since 2003, the total number of women in board of director seats has increased from three to 120, while the number of companies with at least four female board members increased from zero to seven, according to the report.
Kimberley Reilly, history program chair and women and gender studies program co-chair at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, said further progress depends on changes to family care.
“We sort of presume, as a society, that the care of children or elderly parents or disabled members of our family is all going to be taken care of privately, largely by women in the home,” Reilly said. “That’s really unique when you look at other industrialized countries around the world. We are the only industrialized country in the world that doesn’t have any kind of federally subsidized dependent care.”