April 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
Only 3% of last year’s incoming CEOs were women […] that number will increase dramatically in the future, and that approximately one-third of new CEO appointments will be women by 2040. That would be a very significant jump, but it also means that anything approaching gender parity at the top of companies is very far away. This year, the share of incoming female CEOs was only 0.5% larger than the share of outgoing ones. If that trend holds the number of women CEOs will grow, but slowly.
To be exact: Over the past 10 years, 38 percent of female chief executives of the world’s 2,500 biggest public companies were fired, compared to 27 percent of their male counterparts. This is not evidence of male superiority on the job, but of the so-called glass cliff theory. According to this, women and other “occupational minorities,” such as people with a different skin color, tend to get appointed to top jobs when a company needs saving. When these women fail — and in a crisis, the probability of failure is higher — boardrooms fall back on tradition. They replace the women with white men who have lots of industry experience.
More interesting bits from the Bloomberg article:
Women who reach corporate heights tend to have started their training as crisis managers at an early age, according to Fitzsimmons. “Nearly all of the female respondents experienced one of the following: a forced international move; the death or serious illness of parents, siblings or close relatives; domestic violence or serious marital instability; or an estrangement from their parents before the age of sixteen.” Male CEOs typically looked back on more sheltered, idyllic childhoods, according to the researcher.
Disclosure: Both the articles linked above, as well as some of the data quoted is from a study conducted by Strategy&, a consultancy that is part of PwC network that I work for.