Gender equity elusive in Tennessee boardrooms

A new study of women in corporate leadership in Tennessee shows that gender equity remains elusive in the board rooms of the state’s publicly traded companies.

regal_MP_13099.jpgAmong many interesting findings, the study, “Women in Corporate Leadership: 2010 Census,” found that in 2009 only 8.3 percent of director positions in Tennessee’s public companies are held by women. The state labor force is about 48 percent female.

However, a handful of East Tennessee companies offered bright spots for gender equity advocates, the study found.

Knoxville-based movie theater operator Regal Entertainment Group was singled-out as the only publicly traded company in the state with a woman CEO.

Amy E. Miles was named CEO and Director in June 2009. “

“Before that time, there was not one woman CEO at even a single public Tennessee company,” the study says.

Also, Maryville-based restaurant operator Ruby Tuesday Inc. and Morristown-based Jefferson Bancshares were among the few publicly traded companies with at least two women officers.

Severville based Mountain National Bancshares and Chattanooga-based insurance company Unum Group were among the companies with at least two women directors.

The study was done by Lipscomb University business students and sponsored by CABLE, a Tennessee “network of diverse professionals committed to connecting women and opportunity,” according to its website.

Check out the complete study here.

Photo: Regal Entertainment CEO Amy Miles at Pinnacle 18 Theater in Knoxville. (Michael Patrick/ Knoxville News Sentinel)