5 "Progressive" Corporations With Terrible Workplace Equality Track Records


There’s been a lot of coverage in the news lately on women in positions of power at their companies — from Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, to Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. But what about the corporations where women aren’t often in higher up positions? What companies have track records of a double standard when it comes to men and women?

According to a new report by Calvert Investments, the balance of power at 100 of America’s major corporations is considerably skewed in favor of men. Over half of the corporations analyzed had no women or minorities in their senior executive positions. Overall, women represent only 8% of the highest executives. Several companies that normally come off as quite progressive scored near the bottom of the report’s ratings.

1. Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett’s company scored at the very bottom of the report, with only five points of out a possible 100. They have no diversity policy when identifying nominees for directors. Yet Buffett himself is considered quite progressive politically, having recently supported the “Buffett tax,” or a higher tax on wealthier individuals. But it seems as though he should also focus on gender equity within his company as well as economic equity in America.

2. eBay

eBay, ranked 74 by Forbes in its list of the world’s most powerful brands, is certainly known and used by millions of people. But the people running the show are mostly white males. eBay was ranked in the bottom five of the 100 companies in the Calvert report, a bit surprisingly as Meg Whitman was the company’s CEO for ten years (she is now the CEO of Hewlett-Packard). John Donahoe succeeded her as CEO in 2008.

3. Apple Inc.

Apple is known throughout the world for its quality computing products. There’s a reason it seems like everyone you know has an iPhone — it’s because, among other things, Apple is the world’s most admired company. However, they only scored 50 points on the report, which took into account criteria such as internal diversity initiatives, family-friendly benefits, and board representation.

4. Amazon.com Inc.

This Seattle-based company was tenth from the bottom in the Calvert report, with only 40 points. Yet at number three, they’re just a bit behind Apple in the Forbes report on the world’s most admired companies. Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, is a white male, and a quick look at Amazon’s twenty officers and directors reveals that only three of them are women.

5. National Oilwell Varco Inc

In terms of getting women into executive positions, companies in the energy sector performed the worst. Chevron and Schlumberger were the only energy companies listed on the report to have any diversity (in terms of gender, race, or sexuality) in their top five highest paid positions. National Oilwell Varco, which provides services for the global gas and oil industries, scored particularly badly, especially when compared to Chevron. Varco is in the bottom five of the 100 companies, with no women on its board whatsoever.