Editor’s Note – We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby, But …

December, 2003

Girls (and boys), we still have a long way to go. In 2002, women held 7.9 percent of the highest corporate officer positions in Fortune 500 companies, according to Catalyst, a nonprofit research organization. Hawaii falls short of that.

According to our current Hawaii Business Top 250 and Black Book listings, just 15 women hold the highest management positions in the Top 250 companies, a mere 6 percent. The highest-ranking woman corporate officer used to be Faye Kurren, when she was the president of this year’s No. 2 company, Tesoro. Today, Kurren serves as president and chief executive officer of No. 54, Hawaii Dental Service and Veronica Kaneko, managing director for No. 30, McDonalds Restaurants of Hawaii, is the highest ranking female corporate manager of a Top 250 company. Connie Lau heads a big Top 250 subsidiary as president and chief executive officer for American Savings Bank, subsidiary to No. 3, Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. She is also the chair of the board of trustees for No. 39, Kamehameha Schools. The top woman to chair a Hawaii-based board of directors is Margaret Oda, chair of No.23, Kuakini Health System.

I know there are those out there who think we should move beyond counting noses by gender, but my sisters make up about half of the humans on this planet, yet are projected to hold just 27.5 percent of all Fortune 500 corporate officer positions by 2020. We may not be a Fortune 500 or Top 250 company, yet, but I am happy to report that, along with yours truly, women serve in some of the top positions for this magazine. Leslie Light, is our publisher (with a golf swing that will put most guys to shame). Managing Editor Jacy Youn has honchoed our Black Book edition for the third year in a row.

This compilation of executive biographies is a valuable resource, packed with detailed information. Enjoy the Black Book and the accompanying “Public People, Private Passions,” photo essay, which generates a real buzz this year. Happy holidays and best wishes (regardless of gender) for a prosperous 2004!


The story on Malcolm Koga (November 2003) incorrectly stated that he founded his business 20 years ago. Koga Engineering & Construction Inc. started 30 years ago in 1973. A story about competition in furniture retailing incorrectly stated that C. S. Wo, Furnitureland and Homeworld stores sell used furniture. Hawaii Business regrets these errors.

Related Stories

On Newsstands Now

October 2017

HB October 2017


Kelli Abe Trifonovitch