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Study Shows Women’s Position On Corporate Ladder Improved


Nancy Pelosi’s ascent to the Democratic Party leadership in the House of Representatives reflects the steady progress of women in the political world. According to a new report, women also continue to climb the corporate ladder.

Women now hold 15.7 percent of corporate officer positions at large U.S. public companies, up from 8.7 percent in 1995, according to the report by Catalyst, a New York City-based research group There are six female chief executives among the Fortune 500 firms, up from two in 1995. And women make up 5.2 percent of all top-earning executives, up from 1.2 percent seven years ago, when Catalyst began studying women’s employment patterns.

“There’s progress, however slow, in every dimension, year after year,” said Sheila Wellington, president of Catalyst. “And this year, despite the poor economy, the number of women executives keeps going up, and that’s heartening.”

Female top dogs in corporate America include Carleton Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard Co., S. Marce Fuller of Mirant Corp., Patricia Russo of Lucent Technologies, Anne Mulcahy of Xerox Corp., Andrea Jung of Avon Products Inc., and Marion Sandler of Golden West Financial Corp.

Report: States’ Corporate Child-Care Tax Credit System a Failure


The tax-credit system launched by two dozen states during the past 20 years to boost corporate investment in child care has been a failure, and in some cases public money was diverted from child-care programs, according to a new report by the National Women’s Law Center.

In the report, “The Little Engine That Hasn’t: The Poor Performance of Employer Tax Credits for Child Care,” researchers analyzed employer tax credit use in 20 states and found that in 16 of them five or fewer corporations had ever applied for the credit. In five states -- Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia -- not a single corporation claimed the credits, according to the center.

“The states that have enacted these credits need to take a hard look at how ineffective they have been,” said Nancy Duff Campbell, the study’s co-author and co-president of the center.

The report found the main reason the tax credits have not been used much is that 57 percent of state corporate tax filers have no tax liability, and therefore, nothing against which to apply a credit. About 93 percent have such low tax liability that the credits aren’t useful, the report said.

But the states had earmarked money for the programs, and it has often gone unused, according to the report.