Wisconsin sees slight increase of women on corporate boards

Associated Press

Oct. 11, 2017

MILWAUKEE  ó A nonprofit organizationís report shows the number of women on the corporate boards of publicly traded companies in Wisconsin is slowly growing.

Milwaukee Women Inc. says almost 18 percent of directors among the stateís 50 largest public companies are women, up from almost 17 percent last year.

Women have gained three board seats since last year. There are now 79 out of 449 directors that are women, up from 76 out of 451 directors last year.

Milwaukee Women Inc. chair Sandy Wysocki says that while progress is slow, itís still continuing an upward trend.

Women had just over 9 percent of board seats when the nonprofit began in 2003.

Public companies donít frequently appoint new directors. Wisconsinís 50 largest companies only named 18 new directors in the first six months of 2017.

Companies with more women on their boards have higher returns on sales, higher returns on equity and higher returns on invested capital, according to research by national advocacy group Catalyst.

Madison-based Alliant Energy Corp. had the most female representation on its board, with women making up half of its 10-member board.

Seven of the 50 companies had no female directors, according to the report.