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Huffington Post: Men Dominate Top Positions at Companies Oriented Toward Women

By Dan Weil   |   Monday, 21 Jul 2014 01:39 PM

Much of the focus for the lack of advancement by women to the top rungs of corporations has centered on the banking and technology industries.

But it's apparently just as bad at companies that are oriented toward women.

The Huffington Post and Catalyst, an organization that seeks to advance women in business, examined 19 of the biggest companies whose customers are largely women.

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That includes makeup manufacturers, department stores, women's clothing companies and consumer-goods concerns.

At only one company, J.C. Penney, do women account for a majority of the top executives. Women also make up a majority of the board of directors at just one company, Avon.

That situation is "appalling," said Belle Rose Ragins, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee business school, told The Post. "It's their bottom line."

Even some male executives at these companies acknowledge the problem.

"If you've got a group of all men, and women are half of the population and are buying all of the products, how can you say we have the very best team?” Kimberly-Clark CEO Tom Falk told The Post.

Meanwhile, a study by Judy Zaichkowsky, marketing professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, shows that it takes just one woman on a company's board to improve corporate governance, especially in male-dominated industries, CNBC reported.

"There's been this number out there that you need three women on the board to make a difference. What I find is you don't need three," she told the news service.

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