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Nov. 26, 2022

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DiscoverOrg study: 1 in 4 executives in state are women

Washington has 16th-highest rate among all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

By , Columbian staff writer

About one in four executives in the state of Washington are women, a hair above the nationwide average, according to a recent study from DiscoverOrg.

The study found that 25.17 percent of executives in the Evergreen State are women, the 16th-highest rate among all 50 states and Washington D.C. The nationwide average was 24.8 percent; and the median, based on the study, was 23.84 percent.

States with more conservative reputations tended to dominate the top of the list, noted Katie Bullard, chief marketing office for DiscoverOrg. Montana, Vermont, Alaska and Alabama made up four of the top seven locations.

“I think at a high-level what struck us was, states that you would typically associate with more progressive politics aren’t necessarily the states that show the highest levels,” of gender diversity in executive positions, she said.

The study showed that New England rated higher on average than the rest of the United States, while the southwestern states — Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas — rated the worst.

Rate of female executives

Top five states, including D.C.

Montana: 40.9 percent

Washington, D.C.: 38.2 percent

Vermont: 38 percent

Alaska: 33.3 percent

Delaware: 32.6 percent

Bottom five states

Texas: 19.7 percent

Oklahoma: 19 percent

Kentucky: 18 percent

West Virginia: 17.2 percent

Utah: 17 percent

Washington: 25.17 percent

National average: 24.8 percent

Oregon and California rated 23.04 percent and 21.43 percent, respectively, good for 28th and 39th place.

The executives counted in this study could hail from small startups to large enterprises, Bullard said. She said the company has contacts with over 100,000 companies, and reached out to nearly 50,000 for this survey. About 10,000 individuals responded, she said.

The state Department of Employment Security tracks employment trends like wages and gender splits among certain professions, but it does not track gender disparity at the executive level.

Vancouver-based DiscoverOrg sells high-powered market intelligence to other companies, typically advertisers, and is regularly featured among the fastest growing tech companies in the region.

Erika Laws, executive director of Impactful Women NW, an organization the aims to support businesswomen in Vancouver and Portland, said the calculations seemed right based on her experience.

“That seems like a pretty fair estimate,” she said. “There’s not a huge number of executives that are female. I know it’s increasing. It’s definitely getting better.”

DiscoverOrg has not typically published its consumer research, but Bullard said they are becoming more interested in using it to talk about trends in the country.

“I think we recognize that because we have access to this incredible trove of highly verified data, we have the opportunity to use this data in a secondary way to advance conversations like this,” she said.

Columbian staff writer

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