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Judith Johansen Featured in Oregon Business Magazine

Excerpt from an article by Linda Baker in Oregon Business Magazine, November 2011.

Only four of the 46 public companies in Oregon have at least three women serving on their boards of directors: Nike, StanCorp, Albina Bank and Schnitzer Steel. There are only two companies with female chief executive officers — Schnitzer and Bank of the Cascades. Both have at least one woman on their boards.

Gender disparity in the boardroom is an issue that extends far beyond the Oregon border. Nationwide, only 15% of board members in Fortune 500 companies are women. In the European Union, 9.7% of board members in the top 300 companies are women. Women make up about 12.5% of directors at the 100 largest publicly traded companies in the U.K., and many companies have never had a woman on the board.

"The problem is there is not a pipeline of women who are coming up and making it into the C-suite: CEOs or CFOs," says Judith Johansen, president of Marylhurst University and a director on Schnitzer Steel's and Bank of Cascades' boards. Johansen, a former president and CEO of PacificCorp, adds that boards prefer CEOs as directors because they know what it's like to be in the CEO's chair.

"Having senior experience with your own boards raises the bar in terms of board performance," she says.

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