It’s been a big year for female CEOs

leadership market insights Mar 08, 2023

It’s been a big year for female CEOs.

Eight per cent of companies in the Fortune 500 are now run by women. Six are women of colour.

OK, OK, I know these milestones feel a little too modest to celebrate. I mean 41 companies out of 500 still leaves women grossly underrepresented in top jobs compared to their male counterparts.

But these figures are a sign of progress. Just three years ago, there was only 25 women at the helm of large companies, and only two women of colour.

Even more excitingly they’re heading up bigger, more successful businesses too. For years, where women have been CEOs in the Fortune 500, it’s been at companies with lower revenues toward the bottom of the list. But now they’re breaking through into the big leagues. Take Karen Lynch, appointed in February as CEO at no.4 company CVS Health.

There is undoubtedly a long way to go until we can truly say we have diversity in business leadership but I’m still delighted to see that we’re heading in the right direction.

Ultimately, it’s those businesses that can champion diversity and inclusion that will benefit from better decision-making, better levels of innovation and better outcomes. Let’s hope the remainder of the Fortune 500 realise that sooner rather than later.

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