Female chief financial officers at large companies are about three times as likely as their male counterparts to serve on a board outside their company, The Wall Street Journal reported.


Women account for just 12 percent of CFOs at the 500 large public companies tracked by Korn/Ferry International, an executive recruiting firm. But more than half of those women serve on an outside board.


"Women are still horrifically underrepresented on boards... (and) the number of women (in) CFO chairs is still appalling," said Vanessa Wittman, CFO of Google Inc.'s Motorola Mobility unit, in an interview with the Journal.


The rise seems likely to continue, though, as more women than men are graduating from U.S. universities and pursuing finance careers in postgraduate degree programs. More than 60 percent of all accountants and auditors in the country are women, according to Catalyst Inc.


Among the 500 medium-sized public companies tracked by Korn/Ferry, women accounted for just 8.2 percent of the sitting CFOs, according to a separate article inthe Journal. But 25 percent of those executives serve on outside boards, more than double the number of a year ago.