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Percentage of women in C-suite roles inching up

(April 24, 2019, bizwomen)

The percentage of women in C-suite positions among the top 1,000 U.S. companies by revenue has risen slightly in the last year but is still dramatically lower than that of men, a new study found.

The study, conducted in early 2019 by organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry, examined the percentage of women in top jobs by title and by industry.

The analysis found that across the most prominent C-suite titles, an average of 25 percent of the top leaders are women, up slightly from 23 percent a year ago.

The smallest percentage of women occupy the top position, with only 6 percent serving as chief executive officer (CEO), the same percentage as last year.

“We interviewed dozens of current and former female CEOs, and the majority of them said they hadn’t even considered vying for the top spot until they had a sponsor tell them they were well-suited for the role,” said Jane Stevenson, global leader of Korn Ferry’s CEO Succession Services. “It’s critical that both talented women and those around them focus on creating a clear path for advancement.”

The data showed that the highest percentage of female CEOs is in the retail industry (12 percent), followed by the consumer industry (8 percent). The industry with the lowest percentage is healthcare at 1 percent.

The chief human resources officer (CHRO) is the only C-suite role where there is gender parity, the study found, with 55 percent women, the same percentage as last year. The industry with the largest percentage of women CHROs is financial (65 percent) and the industry with the lowest is retail at 49 percent.

previous study by Namely that looked at data from more than 1,000 companies found that 67 percent of HR professionals are women.

The chief marketing officer (CMO) role saw the biggest percentage increase year-to-year, rising to 36 percent from last year’s 32 percent. The financial industry has the highest percentage of female CMOs at 53 percent (up from 45 percent last year) and energy has the lowest at 20 percent.

Twelve percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) across industries are women, up from 11 percent last year, with retail again leading the way at 19 percent, followed by consumer at 14 percent. The industries tied for having the fewest female CFOs are financial and healthcare, both at 8 percent.

Representation for chief information officer/chief technology officer (CIO/CTO) rose slightly, from 16 percent in 2018 to 18 percent in 2019. CIO Dive points out that although more women are choosing to grow their careers in technology, it will take time for them to move through the ranks into leadership positions.

The financial industry has the largest representation of women CIO/CTOs at 25 percent, while the services sector has only 7 percent.

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