Reality Check: There Were Virtually No Women CEOs Hired Last Year
Jessie Webster for Glitter Guide
One woman. Of all the people promoted to CEO in the United States last year, just one—Andrea Greenberg of MSG Networks—was a woman.
While the salary disparity between men and women in this country has been well documented, what about the systemic discrimination happening on the top floor of the world’s leading companies?
According to a study from PwC, the number of female CEOs in the world’s top 2500 public companies plummeted from an anemic 7% in 2012 to an even more embarrassing 4% in 2014. Last year, of all the CEO positions that opened up across the globe, only 3% went to women, despite a turnover rate of 17% at the executive level. In North America, the numbers are even grimmer, with women making up only 1% of the new CEOs hired last year.
“Companies need to do more than they’re doing today to get talented women to be promoted to CEO,” said DeAnne Aguirre, an executive at PwC.
For example, recognizing then nurturing female talent that already exists within the company’s infrastructure is essential. But that’s not what’s happening—the study showed that female CEOs are usually hired from outside the company, which means that qualified women with executive potential are being passed over for men who may not be as talented.
“That women CEOs are more often hired from the outside may be an indication that companies have not been cultivating enough female senior executives in-house,” Aguirre added.
While successful women CEOs like Marissa Mayer, Elizabeth Holmes, and Rosalind Brewer steal headlines and sign book deals, we can convince ourselves that the country is making real progress when it comes to hiring women at an executive level. Unfortunately, that’s an illusion. The reality is we still have a long way to go until they’re the rule and not the exception.
Discover your inner CEO with the help of Sheryl Sandberg’s essential Lean In, and let us know why you think there are so few female CEOs.