Ironically, hours before Ms F was canned from HP our pal Martha Barletta had sent me a report on companies with the highest #s of women-on-the-Board. Top honors to Albertsons, the only BigCo with over 50 percent women (6 of 11) on the Board.
Here's CEO Larry Johnston (incidentally, a GE alum) on women in top slots: "Women have insights into our customers that no man—no matter how bright, no matter how hard working—can match. That's important when 85 percent of all consumer buying decisions made in our stores are made by women." Retail analyst Burt Flickinger calls the absence of women in top slots, pre-Johnston, the company's "tragic flaw." He adds, "It was a bunch of old white guys making erroneous assumptions and erroneous conclusions about women and the multicultural consumers that make up the majority of Albertsons' customers." All this still doesn't make it a cakewalk to go toe-to-toe with Wal*Mart in groceries, but it helps!
FYI, next behind Albertsons in the U.S. is Wells Fargo @ 35.7 percent women on the Board.)
(Quotes are from the Idaho Statesman. Albertsons is HQed in Boise.)